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Originally published December 18, 2013 at 8:01 AM | Page modified December 18, 2013 at 8:16 AM

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‘Anchorman 2’: Some good news about sequel

A three-star movie review of “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” with Will Ferrell returning as lamebrain newsman Ron Burgundy. It’s maddeningly inconsistent: sharply satirical one minute, groaningly dumb the next.

Special to The Seattle Times

Review 3 stars

‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,’ with Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner. Directed by Adam McKay, from a screenplay by Ferrell and McKay. 115 minutes. Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, drug use, language and comic violence. Several theaters.

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I hope they gave Steve Carell more to do this time. His part was pretty lame in the... MORE
Saw it last night. I would have to give it 2 stars myself. Last hour or so was just so... MORE
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Loudmouth. Braggart. Egomaniac. Dunderhead.

That’s Ron Burgundy.

He’s back in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.” Louder and dopier than ever.

He kisses a shark in this sequel to 2004’s “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.” Which is not the same thing as jumping the shark, though the picture seems to be heading in that direction early on when Will Ferrell and his reunited gang of numskulls (played by Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner) seem to be flailing to find the funny. They blunder through bits about deep-fried fast-food bats and a screechy, overlong funeral oration delivered by the dearly not-departed Carell himself.

But then the movie rights itself, oddly enough, right about the time that our doltish heroes find themselves upended in a capsizing Winnebago with errant bowling balls and catapulting scorpions bringing the comic pain. Close your mouth, Ron! Ouch! Too late.

And then it’s off to the races as the motor home, righted, carries these California local news nitwits to New York where they’ve been recruited to work the graveyard shift at a startup cable network. It’s 1980, the infancy of 24-hour news, and the rules of that new kind of news are being written, and broken, on the fly by ... guess who?

Ron’s mantra: “Tell them what they want to hear,” rather than what they ought to know. Tell them “what’s right with America.” And so he does.

He does with endless cute animal stories, wall-to-wall breaking-news car-chase coverage and out-there lifestyle pieces. And all of it is slathered in jazzy, jittery graphics.

It’s a tale told by an idiot, full of hysteria and faux patriotism, signifying sky-high ratings.

With Ferrell, who co-wrote the script with director and longtime collaborator Adam McKay, in all-out obnoxious mode, “Anchorman 2” is maddeningly inconsistent, sharply satirical one minute, groaningly dumb the next. It’s a piñata at which Ferrell & Co. swing away wildly. They often miss their mark, but when they connect, out fall the laughs in great big bunches.

Soren Andersen:

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