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Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (DQ)


Stars: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Christina Applegate, Kristen Wiig, Paul Rudd, David Koechler, James Marsden, Dylan Baker, Meagan Good, Greg Kinnear, Harrison Ford, Vince Vaughn, Tina Fey, Jim Carrey, Liam Neeson, Will Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Kirsten Dunst, Marion Cotillard, Amy Poehler, Fred Willard, Josh Lawson, John C Reilly, Kanye West

Director: Adam McKay

This is probably the most star-strewn comedy in Hollywood history, beating even a long-forgotten Bob Hope comedy-western in which a fistful of screen western heroes turned up at the end to save our hero. Alas, Anchorman is also far from the funniest. Half-a-dozen chuckles is poor reward on a two-hour runtime.

Fired from his job as anchor newsreader at a TV station, while his now-wife Veronica (Applegate) is promoted, Ron Burgundy (Ferrell) goes into freefall, sacked even from his assignment as (drunken) emcee at a dolphin show.

Than a last chance presents itself - anchoring the graveyard shift at a new 24-hour news network, where poster-boy Jack Lime (Marsden) is prime-time king. Assembling his old team, sports reporter Champ (Koechler), who has been running a diner selling bat as chicken, batty weatherman Brick (Carell) and photographer/newsman Brian (Rudd), Ron makes a foolish bet with Lime that he can beat him in the ratings, or leave town, but then has an inspiration - "Why do we have to tell people what they need to know? Why don't we tell them what they want to know?"

So a succession of feelgood American moments and real-time car chases propels Ron back to the top - and into the bed of his producer (Good). And, as per the bet, Lime has to change his name to Lame. Naturally, it can't last...

This is everything you'd expect from a Judd Apatow-produced comedy - it's coarse, vulgar and in-your-face, but there are also undeniably too few laughs. A scene in which the impossibly non-PC Ron spectacularly and grossly insults the black family of his new girlfriend - wifey has kicked him out - is just stunningly unfunny.

Ferrell shouts a lot, but hasn't the skill to overcome poor material. Carell shrieks a lot, says silly things and is even less funny than Ferrell. Even so, a non-stop parade of guest stars should afford you some amusement, as Vaughn, Smith, Baron Cohen, Ford, Neeson, Carrey and more ride in for the final battle of the newsrooms.

David Quinlan

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Paramount. Technicolor.
119 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 16 Dec 2013