Twitter Plot Summary: Ron’s back, but this time he has to rebuild from the ground up as he helps kick off the 24 hour news cycle.
Five Point Summary:
1. Harrison Ford! More of him would’ve gone down a treat.
2. Ron gets the band back together.
4. Ron takes a trip to the lighthouse. This all feels strained.
5. Ron’s fighting a shark. Odd place to end it.
Ron Burgundy and his news team are back at the dawn of th 24 hour news cycle. Having been turfed out of his native San Diego and replaced by his wife Veronica Corningstone, Ron has to reform the team of Champ Kind, Brian Fontana and Brick Tamland where they head to New York to start their careers anew. Despite many good moments the story falls flat, none more so than in a third act twist that sees Ron living in a lighthouse. It’s inconvenient plotting that doesn’t allow the characters to breathe and destroys the pace of the story. The script also rides on the coattails of the original film, borrowing ideas liberally and doing them again but slightly different. Rivalries between Burgundy and handsome newscaster Jack Lime, and Bergundy’s relationship with his black female boss Linda Jackson are amusing but don’t have any resolution.
There’s also less of Champ Kind and Brian Fontana than I’d have liked – Ron of course gets the majority of screen time as you would expect, but it’s Brick Tamland and his odd romance with Kristen Wiig’s equally dumb Chani. Their scenes are entertaining, but giving Brick the B story is a bit much – I know Champ and Brian are essentially 2D caricatures, but then so are Ron and Brick – more of Brian in particular would’ve balanced it out – at least Champ has his unrequited love for Ron to fall back on.
That’s not to say the film isn’t funny, in fact it’s the most I’ve laughed in a cinema since Alan Partridge’s Alpha Papa earlier this year. It’s also delightfully silly, with many moments that are either totally surreal or just generally insane. It’s possible that the expectation of the film was far higher than it could achieve given how well liked the first movie is. There’s also the issue with the promotional clips ahead of release, showing scenes that were cut from the final film. Arguably those clips were funnier than what was retained, but I’ve no doubt that we’ll see them again either on the DVD/Blu-Ray release or as another Bergundy film in the same style as Wake Up Ron Bergundy.
It would also help if the film was about 20-40 minutes shorter. As a general rule of thumb, comedy works best when the running time is limited to 90-100 minutes at the most. Expecting to keep the audience laughing for a full 2 hours is a tall order and one where Anchorman 2 falls on its face. With a little more restraint in the editing suite a 90 minute Ron Burgundy film would be hilarious. As is typical of the Judd Apatow stable, a lack of restraint in cutting the film has led to the inclusion of many flabby sections that add little. Overall it has the same appeal as the first movie, only with its impact lessened by repetition of what worked before. If a third movie does make it to our screens let’s hope that the story is up to scratch and, whilst unlikely, has more of that cult appeal that made the first film such a pleasure.