Loudmouth. Braggart. Egomaniac. Dunderhead.
That’s Ron Burgundy.
He’s back in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.” Louder and dopier than ever.
He kisses a shark in this sequel to 2004’s “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.” Which is not the same thing as jumping the shark, though the picture seems to be heading in that direction early on when Will Ferrell and his reunited gang of numskulls (played by Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner) seem to be flailing to find the funny. They blunder through bits about deep-fried fast-food bats and a screechy, overlong funeral oration delivered by the dearly not-departed Carell himself.
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But then the movie rights itself, oddly enough, right about the time that our doltish heroes find themselves upended in a capsizing Winnebago with errant bowling balls and catapulting scorpions bringing the comic pain. Close your mouth, Ron! Ouch! Too late.
And then it’s off to the races as the motor home, righted, carries these California local news nitwits to New York where they’ve been recruited to work the graveyard shift at a startup cable network. It’s 1980, the infancy of 24-hour news, and the rules of that new kind of news are being written, and broken, on the fly by … guess who?
Ron’s mantra: “Tell them what they want to hear,” rather than what they ought to know. Tell them “what’s right with America.” And so he does.
He does with endless cute animal stories, wall-to-wall breaking-news car-chase coverage and out-there lifestyle pieces. And all of it is slathered in jazzy, jittery graphics.
It’s a tale told by an idiot, full of hysteria and faux patriotism, signifying sky-high ratings.
With Ferrell, who co-wrote the script with director and longtime collaborator Adam McKay, in all-out obnoxious mode, “Anchorman 2” is maddeningly inconsistent, sharply satirical one minute, groaningly dumb the next. It’s a piñata at which Ferrell & Co. swing away wildly. They often miss their mark, but when they connect, out fall the laughs in great big bunches.
Soren Andersen: firstname.lastname@example.org