I really liked the first Anchorman. It had a great level of whimsy and the strange non-sequitur comedy still seemed to flow within the world that they had built. Coming eight years after the original movie, I didn’t see what a sequel would really have to offer. However, the cast was back and I generally find most of them funny in whatever roles they happen to take. The trailers for the movie then made me a little worried but I still went into watching Anchorman 2 with an open mind. Unfortunately, everything that made the first movie work seemed to be missing from this one.
Our movie follows Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone from the first movie, now together in New York doing the news. When Veronica gets promoted over him, Ron leaves and then takes a job at a brand new station that will be the first 24 hour news network. He gets the old team back together and they get into wacky hijinks. Since we already covered sexism in the first movie, this time around they have to struggle with the fact that their boss is both a woman and black. Oh, Ron also has a son this time around and the movie remembers this about as much as that sentence would lead you to believe. There is also a subplot of Brick finding a woman that is just as stupid as he is and they get married.
This movie is all over the place. The first movie at least had a single plot that ran through it even if there were still random comedy bits throughout. Here we have Ron’s relationship to Veronica, Ron’s relationship to his new boss Linda, the Brick subplot, a rivalry with another anchor, a plot where Ron goes blind and tries to get rehabilitated, and the main(?) story of the development of the first 24 hour news network. There’s so much stuff in there that nothing feels connected or like it flows. They also pull basically all of the stuff from the first movie and try to jam it into the second. Remember the big news team fight? We did another one only now it’s even bigger! Baxter saves Ron from an animal at the end of the movie again. We get another sex panther reference. There is another musical number like in the first one but now it’s a whole huge production and there is a different song break within the song break.
Probably the worst thing is the way the movie handles his boss, Linda. In the first movie, you had some horrible, stupid sexism but at least by the end Ron was supposed to have seen that Veronica could be just as good an anchor as him and isn’t that nice he learned something. Here, we have the same thing only replace sexism with racism (also some sexism) but he learns nothing. The dinner scene where he meets her family was just 5 minutes of Ron being increasingly racist before getting thrown out. Linda is mad at him for about 15 seconds before Ron explains he’s just under a lot of stress and then it is dropped. He never does get to have that moment where he realizes he has been an ass and spouting off horrible stereotypes. Instead of that, he leaves Linda for Veronica in the end and has no growth as a character. Hooray.
Overall, the only thing the movie remotely does well is mocking the state of news networks that are too focused on telling people what they want and sensationalism rather than reporting actual news. Sadly, that entire parody gets buried under a ton of garbage and stupid bullshit. I give the movie a 1.5 out of 5 and suggest anyone that liked Anchorman just pretend this movie never happened.