It’s been nearly a decade since we last seen Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), and he’s now happily living with his wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) and their son. But when he gets fired from his job by their boss (Harrison Ford), he leaves his family and sets off to reunite the Channel 5 News Team (Paul Rudd, Steve Carrell, David Koechner), as they’ve been offered a slot in the world’s first 24 hour news channel in New York. Once they get there, they find that they’ve got to contend with a powerful, black (BLACK?!) female (FEMALE?!?!) boss (Meagan Good) and a new, incredibly handsome and charming rival anchorman Jack Lime (James Marsden).
Let’s be honest, the plot of the first movie didn’t really make a lot of sense – something to do with a panda, right? – and it didn’t really matter, and the same goes this time around. All that really matters is, are the jokes as funny? Are the one-liners as hilarious and random? Are the characters as lovably demented as ever? And the answers are no, no and yes.
Whether director Adam McKay and co-writer Ferrell are too self-aware of what did and didn’t make the first Anchorman movie work so well or not, the sequel just smacks of trying too hard. Which is a lot better than just not trying at all, but the strain of effort to make the audience laugh is a little too desperate, a little too "Remember this from the first movie? Well here it is again, times TEN!". There are entire sequences that probably sounded good on paper – Burgundy living in a lighthouse, Steve Carrell flirting with an equally socially awkward Kristen Wiig, Corningstone living with a possibly psychic therapist played by Greg Kinnear – but in reality they just don’t work that well.
That’s not to say the movie is entirely free of laughs, as there are still plenty of LOL-moments scattered throughout. But that’s exactly the problem, they are scattered, whereas the first Anchorman had them layered on one after another.
There is a chance that this movie, much like the first movie, will play out better on repeat viewings. It’s certainly not a The Hangover Part II level of bad, more a Ghostbusters II level of disappointing.