No movie with as many jokes a Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues can fail completely (but please don't steal from Bloom County next time, guys). The sheer volume guarantees some will stick. But there's a surprising amount of plot, which is the same thing that killed Back to the Future Part II.
Over roughly two hours (note: comedies should NEVER be two hours long, ever), Ron (Will Ferrell) and Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) break up; she gets promoted as he's fired; he's hired by the first cable news network, GNN; he and the old gang regroup; they invent Fox News-style cable news; Ron has a horrible accident; Ron deals with having a female African-American boss (Meagan Good); Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), who should be relegated to one-liners only, gets a storyline.
And much like Peter Venkman in the wretched Ghostbusters II, Ron has been softened, and softening sucks the life from comedy. At one point, Ron realizes his relationship with his son is more important than the news, and—are you kidding? Lout Ron Burgundy cares about family? This isn't It's a Wonderful Life.
But the laughs are gut laughs, even if the movie never quite jells. Such is life. Comedy sequels don't often work. Add Anchorman 2 to the pile.
Directed by Adam McKay
With Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd and Christina Applegate
Regal Stadium 14