Wednesday, April 16, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Review: ‘Anchorman 2,’ bloated but still funny

Jocelyn Noveck

Can there be too much of a good thing? Where did that expression come from, anyway? If it’s good, isn’t more always better?

Discuss.

Or, actually, don’t discuss. Because, in the case of “Anchorman 2″ anyway, the question is sort of pointless, isn’t it? Everything about both the original 2004 film, a cult classic of the Will Ferrell oeuvre, and its lead character, Ron Burgundy, was puffed up and absurd and ridiculous.

And so, why wouldn’t the sequel be even more puffed up, more absurd and more ridiculous? As long as Ferrell’s back (he is), and reunited with his wacky partners (he is) to form a veritable dream team of inappropriateness (they do), then what could be wrong?

Not that “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” again directed with total self-assurance by Adam McKay, is a work of fine art. It’s a broad, low-brow comedy, which one imagines was concocted somewhat like a huge abstract painting: You throw gobs (or jokes) onto a big canvas, some spills over the edges, and it’s messy and lumpy, but hey, it’s all good, and anyway, the next gob is coming.

For those who may have missed the original, it brought us Burgundy, a TV anchor defined by his goofiness, self-importance, good-natured chauvinism, and polyester. Set in the ’70s, the theme was gender equality; Burgundy’s foil was Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), who sought her own anchor chair.

In the sequel, the issue isn’t gender but the very purpose of TV news: To inform, or entertain? We’re in 1980, and Burgundy and Corningstone, now married, host a morning show together. Then she — alone — is offered an evening anchor slot. Burgundy? He’s fired (the boss is a gruffly funny Harrison Ford, sounding quite Brokaw-esque.)

Ron tells Veronica she can’t take the job without him. She accuses him of acting like Julius Caesar. “Who the hell is Julius Caesar?” he bellows. “I don’t follow the NBA!”

Veronica takes the job and abandons Ron. But opportunity comes in the form of a job offer that sounds crazy: a new 24-hour news channel, being launched by an Aussie billionaire. Its name? GNN.

Burgundy heads for New York, stopping to gather the old news team from San Diego — er, San Di-AHgo, as he pronounces it: overly emotional sportscaster Champ Kind (David Koechner), now running a chicken joint; overly sexed reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), now photographing cats; and overly insane weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell, reliably hilarious) now dead. Or so he thinks.

Burgundy’s new nemesis is the impossibly good-looking, self-adoring anchorman Jack Lime (James Marsden, perfect in such self-mocking roles). And his superior is the overachieving Linda Jackson (Meagan Good), who finds Burgundy ridiculous but then inexplicably falls for him. Linda is not only a woman but black, a double-whammy for the chauvinistic Burgundy; their coupling, however improbable, leads to a very funny dinner-table scene with Linda’s disapproving family.

Of course, underdog Ron has tricks up his sleeve. “Why do we need to tell the people what they need to hear?” he muses. “Why can’t we tell them what they WANT to hear?” And they’re off, satirizing today’s infotainment brand of cable news. A routine involving an endless car chase and, well, Yasser Arafat (yes, Yasser Arafat) is one of the more inspired scenes in the film.

The starry cast also includes Kristen Wiig, intensely weird as only she can be. And there’s the finale, a news-team rumble in midtown Manhattan involving more celebrity cameos than you ever thought possible. Sacha Baron Cohen as a BBC anchor? Only the beginning. Of course, it all feels like too much.

But you can’t have too much of a good thing, remember?

“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” a Paramount Pictures release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for “crude and sexual content, drug use, language and comic violence.” Running time: 119 minutes. Three stars out of four.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Vacaville set to usher in new chapter for Police Department

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Supervisor candidates file conflict-of-interest forms

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Trial begins for teacher accused of abusing children

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

Suisun police ID shooting victim

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Solano Jews gather for start of Passover

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Suisun council debates train depot renovation

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
 
County discusses consolidated dispatch

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Miner Slough Bridge to see repairs

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
‘Heaven is for Real’ opens Wednesday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B5

 
Fiesta Days pageant organizers seek contestants

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
Easter hunt set for Mare Island

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
Crews make quick work of vehicle fire

By Glen Faison | From Page: A6, 6 Comments | Gallery

 
Paper Clover Campaign supports Solano County 4-H

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

Coakley joins Solano fair board

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

 
Hundreds flock to Krispy Kreme as it opens doors

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
County to honor Solano educators

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A14

.

US / World

Officials: Huge San Francisco blaze was accidental

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
‘Shrimp Boy’ pleads not guilty in corruption case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Solemn tributes mark Boston Marathon bombing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Immigration activists urge Obama to act boldly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Supremacist faces murder charges in Kansas deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Ukraine: Military secures airport from attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Democrats have outside money advantage – for now

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
First women move into Army platoon artillery jobs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Final deadline arrives for health exchange sign-up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
New LA newspaper embraces print in digital world

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Congress is giving states the transportation blues

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Police: Suspects in killings wore GPS devices

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

DNA alternative to Pap smear sparks medical debate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Robot sub returns to water after 1st try cut short

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Hamas praises deadly West Bank shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
2 dead after ferry sinks off SKorean coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

.

Opinion

State Senate must do more to restore trust

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A13

 
Oh, for the days of Dr. Welby

By Dan K. Thomasson | From Page: A13, 11 Comments

Poor Judgement in Flight 370 column

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13

 
Senseless babble that hurts

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13

 
Expand Red Top Road

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13

Editorial cartoons for April 16, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A13

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
What love gives you

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

Today in History for April 16, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
A matzo ball soup fit for a weeknight dinner

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Saving carrots from their usual sugary Easter fate

By Sara Moulton | From Page: B6

 
Sweet pairings for grown-up Easter treats

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

My husband still pays his 45-year-old unemployed son’s bills

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes for April 16, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

Boston Globe wins Pulitzer for bombing coverage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Lindsay Lohan’s mom pleads guilty to DWI in NY

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Strahan’s ‘GMA’ side job confirmed with his visit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Cal hires Tennessee’s Cuonzo Martin as coach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors trying to move on without Andrew Bogut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Sharks’ Torres uncertain for playoff opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Indians shut out Mustangs

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Ex-Minnesota State, Mankato coach returning to job

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Panthers jump Sabres to win NHL draft lottery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

More former players sue NHL regarding concussions

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers sign WR Brandon Lloyd to 1-year deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

MLB marks 67th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

Twitter buys data analytics partner Gnip

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Yellen signals more aggressive stance toward banks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

.

Obituaries

Carolyn McClelland

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Evonne Medina

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7