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The Legend Continues

Plot Overview

“Anchorman 2” opens with a stylized shot of a whip encircling a cup of coffee. It's probably meant as a variation of the carrot and the stick motif meaning there's some personal ful­fill­ment (carrot) in being a news­caster, but there's also competition to produce a quality product—or at least one with high ratings. Next we have a nature shot of a praying mantis, an insect infamous for the can­nibal­istic female who eats the male after mating—although scientists have more recently con­cluded that was due to the stress of captivity. That's followed by a scene in medias res where legendary news­man Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is being attacked by a man-eating shark. NO! Well, that's a false start. The scene is cut and we back­track. Even­tually we'll get to the part where Ron nurses a distressed baby shark in the tide­water back to health and sets it free. When it returns full grown, he wades out expecting a joyful reunion only to be met by a hungry predator. NOTE: The 1974 movie “Jaws” gave the great whites a bad rep, as humans are too lean for their tastes; they hunt (fat) seals.

The movie proper starts with a crowd scene in NYC, leading to the studios of WBC where Ron and his wife Veronica Corning­stone (Christina Apple­gate) are co- anchoring a news broad­cast. Upstairs the boss Mack Tannen (Harrison Ford) makes a decision: “When the broad­cast is over, send these two up to my office. It's about time to make a change.” There's a rumor he's about to retire leaving a vacancy to fill. They go up with high expectations.

After he scientifically examines their profiles, he promotes Veronica—this is 1980—to “the first woman full time news anchor.” As for Ron, he tells him, “Mr. Burgundy, you're fired.” When asked why, he replies, “You're the worst anchor I've ever seen.” We're given some scenes from the past by which we under­stand that Mack was not exag­ger­ating. Ron and Veronica go home to have a row in front of their six-year-old son Walter (Judah Nelson). Ron gives his wife an ultimatum: “It's either the job or me!”

Continuing the shark story, it was looking pretty grim out there for Ron about to be devoured until his terrier Baxter swam out to fend it off. As absurd as it might seem for man's best friend a little dog to subdue a big shark, it's not nearly as absurd as Ron's good-old-boy network saving his bacon. First, Freddie Shapp (Dylan Baker) offers him a job anchoring a new 24 hour Global News Network (GNN). Ron assembles his dream team (from the earlier “Anchor­man” movie): sports­caster Champion “Champ” Kind (David Koechner), field cor­res­pon­dent Brian Fontana (Paul Rudd), and meteor­olo­gist Brick Tamland (Steve Carell). The multiplied absurdities of this crew defy description but are good for laughs.


Ron has high hopes when he says, “I'll take the job and I'll make every­thing right again.” He even goes so far as to say, “I swear I'll do every­thing God put me on earth to do.” That's a tall order. There is a funeral scene in which we see an over­sized Bible opened invitingly. The camera lingers on this scene. This movie takes place in 1980. The 1970s were the time of the "Jesus movement" when people regularly read the Bible. It may not be quoted in the movie, but we're invited to look into it.

There was a lot of migration of young people in the 1970s, and I remember applying (Psalm 107:4a) “They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way” to my hitch­hiking experience. That's followed by, (Psalm 107:5) “Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.” One would have to be hungry to eat Champ's “chicken of the cave” he was selling. His mantra is, “that the census is a way for the UN to make your children gay,” the census reminding me of, (Psalm 107:38) “He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease,” in turn reminding me of Brian's thriving animal photo­graphy business. And Brick who supposedly died at sea brings to mind two verses: (Psalm 107:23) “They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters,” and (Psalm 107:10a) “Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.” One of the expository methods of the Rabbis is called remez, meaning to hint at. The movie hints at Psalm 107.

The arc followed by Ron to fulfill his vow to God corresponds to a section of that very psalm: (Psalm 107:17–22)

Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanks­giving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

Because of Ron's transgression in not “tell[ing] the people what they need to hear,” but “what they want to hear” (“The genie has been let out of the bottle”), he seems to have incurred some divine punish­ment though his ratings on the drivel weren't bad. He ends up unable to eat, suicidal, and in distress from an incapaci­tating injury (“Dear God, please help me.”) God “sent his word, and healed him” in a curious way, following (Titus 2:4–5) “that … the young women may … love their husbands, love their children, be … keepers at home.” He sent Ron's wife Veronica back to him to do that little Titus number and heal him. This is how the Rabbis expound scripture using hekesh, the banging of two scriptures into each other.

In the plot it is absurd that Veronica leave her lucrative position, leave her psycholo­gist lover named Gary (Greg Kinnear) who seems to under­stand people, and return home to her loser husband who is not only the worst anchor ever seen, but he's the worst father ever seen—in an R-rated movie at least—, and is the worst patient to boot. Veronica's absurdity just gets lumped in with all the other absurdities, and we expect further disaster, but some­how it all works out. (Psalm 107:41–43) “Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock. The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth. Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall under­stand the loving­kind­ness of the LORD.” Instead of a guffaw we get a good feeling to see a recovered Ron with a happy family (“C'mon, Ron, priorities”) and a righteous philos­ophy: “Real news is letting the people know what the powerful are up to so that power doesn't become corrupt.”

Production Values

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” (2013) is a sequel to Will Ferrell's 2004 hit, “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.” It was directed by Adam McKay. The screen­play was written by Will Ferrell & Adam McKay using characters of their earlier creation. It stars Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, and Steve Carell, though there were additional funny parts and cameos not a few. Kristen Wiig played Chani Last­namé a love interest worthy of Steve Carell. “Anchor­man 2” saturated us with humorous situations and vignettes until we couldn't help but laugh.

The soundtrack included “Mic Handover,” written by Alex Wurman, which was from the first “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” (2004). The 1970s music befits the vacuous plot.

Review Conclusion w/ Consumer Recommendation

“Anchorman 2” took me by storm, was a funny movie, and a touching one as well when, “Ron had finally learned to love his son and his wife more than his job.” It's too crude to be a family movie, but it has an under­lying family message, none­the­less. It's funny for those who have a mature sense of humor. I recommend it for the laughs and appreciate its message as well.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick.

Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age.

Special effects: Well done special effects.

Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening.

Overall product rating: Five stars out of five.

Suspense: A few suspenseful moments.