After nearly a decade away from movie screens, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), the world’s greatest newscaster, has returned. This time, it’s the 1980s, and a new media craze called “24-hour news” has Ron and the boys (Paul Rudd’s Brian Fantana, Steve Carell’s Brick Tamland and David Koechner’s Champ Kind) working the late-night shift in New York.
The plot is just a place-setter for weird, random humor involving bats, sharks, shadows, scorpions in RVs and hair. Ferrell and crew manage to sell the dumbest of things, and they make so much of it funny. Even the stuff that’s simply strange has its own humorous appeal.
Carell goes super-dopey with Brick as he finds a love interest (Kristen Wiig); Champ still loves Ron in a dangerous way; and Brian has a new condom cabinet. I laughed my face off; this is a sequel that continues the comedic legacy of the brilliant original, and even ups the ante when it comes to anchor-on-anchor battles in the park. The battle scene in this one is one for the ages, and involves fighter jets.
Director Adam McKay has stated that this is the end for Ron Burgundy. I say nuts to that. I want 10 more films.
Special Features: McKay shot a lot of footage for this film, as he did with the original Anchorman, and he had enough left over for not only an extended, R-rated version of the film with more than 700 more jokes, but for an extended unrated version, too.
The unrated version just has a few more dirty jokes, while the R-rated version is basically a different movie. The plot is mostly the same, but it’s fueled by enough alternate scenes to change the viewing experience drastically. If there’s one regret in the R-rated version, it is that it has less of Ron’s pet shark; otherwise, it’s pretty damned funny on its own.
In addition to the bountiful alternate versions, you get a killer commentary with director and cast, behind-the scenes footage, outtakes galore and a gag reel. This is a great package.