Film: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
aka: Anchorman 2
It's kind of a big deal.
The sequel to Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
. Several years after the end of the first film, it's 1980
and Ron and Veronica are successful co-hosts of the GWN weekend newscast in New York City, with a son to boot. When Veronica is promoted to anchor GWN's weeknight newscast and Ron fired, Ron gives her an ultimatum: Him, or the job.
Six months after Veronica leaves him, and shortly after being fired from SeaWorld in San Diego, Ron is approached to take part in GNN, the first ever 24-hour news station
. While he is skeptical, he doesn't have any other prospects, so he reassembles his old news team and attempts to do the best job he can...in the 2 AM timeslot. What ensues will change television news forever, but their lives and those of the people around them will also be changed in far more — and far more absurd — ways than one.
A Re-Cut of the film titled Super Sized R Rated Edition
was released in theaters for one week beginning February 28, 2014
This film provides examples of:
- Alphabet News Network: GNN, the Global News Network.
- Apologetic Attacker: The incredibly polite Canadian News Team. "Sorry."
- Artistic License – Astronomy/Weird Moon: There cannot be a full moon visible during the day, as in the final fight.
- Artistic License – Medicine: "[B]oth optic nerves are separated from their respective corneas." The optic nerve is not remotely attached to the cornea.
- Ashes to Crashes: Invoked by Champ Kind in the R-rated version when he mentions human ashes being an ingredient in one of the items on his restaurant's menu.
- Attending Your Own Funeral: Brick shows up at his own funeral (they'd written him off as dead when he swam out to sea and disappeared for a year), promising to find his "killer". The guys eventually convince him that he is, in fact, still alive.
- Author Tract: There's a none-too-subtle criticism of the modern news industry throughout.
- Award Bait Song: Parodied and played straight with "Doby". Its tune and theme is meant to mock these kind of songs, but Paramount actually campaigned for it to win Best Original Song at the Oscars (sadly, it did not get nominated).
- Back for the Dead: After saving Ron Burgundy from Jack Lame, Wes apparently dies in an explosion caused by the spilt fuel from his motorcycle...the flame came from Brick. However, the Expanded Universe book Let Me Off at the Top! says that Wes is still alive in the New Tens.
- Bad Liar: Ron tries to lie about his Bungled Suicide... except he just tells the truth in a tone that sounds like lying.
- Badass Boast: Lampshaded by Ron after a special guest arrives after the newscaster brawl:
Wes Mantooth: Oh, I know I'm gonna burn in hell. So I sure as shit ain't afraid to burn here on earth.
Ron: Oh my goodness, that's the most badass thing I've ever heard!
- Bait and Switch: Ladies' man Brian Fantana is taking photographs and making suggestive comments, only for the camera to switch to his subjects: kittens.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: After Ron gets fired from Sea World, he comes back at the manager with this:
Ron: Guess what, Trevor? Every morning I get here a half hour early and I sexually assault a starfish!
- In the uncut edition, the line is changed to Ron claiming he rubs his privates with a sea cucumber.
- The Bet: One that kicks off most of the plot; Jack Lime vs. Ron Burgundy in a viewers battle. If Jack's team gets more viewers, Ron is forced to give up the news forever; while if Ron wins the bet, Jack's name must be changed to Jack Lame.
- Big Damn Heroes: During the final battle, who shows up to save Burgundy from Jack Lame? WES MANTOOTH.
- Black Gal on White Guy Drama: Ron and Linda, albeit Played for Laughs.
Ron: LET'S GO AND HAVE INTERRACIAL SEX!
- Borrowed Catchphrase: Jack says "Stay classy, Ron Burgundy" after causing Ron to trip on a loose cable while ice skating.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: When the News Team meets up after Ron's Howard Beale speech, Brian notes that their chances of re-uniting depends on the "Box office".
- Brick Joke:
- Early in the movie, Ron claims to be Mexican. Later, when trying to get a cab, he laments that Mexicans can never get cabs. These gags are particularly interesting in light of the Expanded Universe book Let Me Off at the Top!, which is purportedly Ron's 2013 memoir. It turns out that he thinks Mexicans are inferior to Americans (among other things, he thinks their brains are underdeveloped due to the hot sun)...
- Champ calls bats "chicken of the cave" when justifying serving them at his restaurant in lieu of chicken, then later calls cats "chicken of the rail yard" when talking to Brian about his cat photography.
- A subtle, possible unintentional one: Brick makes several references to the future that appear to be either gags (like talk of jetpacks) or anachronistic mistakes (like quoting the Ghostbusters theme a few years before it was released). They are never mentioned again, if at all. But then later... in the final battle he has a sci-fi raygun of some sort.
- Ron spends most of the film assuming Gary the psychologist actually has psychic powers, and is usually proven otherwise. Up until the final battle, where Gary not only holds an axe in place using telekinesis, but also makes an offhand comment about his clairvoyance.
- Bumbling Dad: Ron assumes this role for his son.
- Bungled Suicide: After a failed stint at SeaWorld, Ron tries to hang himself from a fluorescent light in the ceiling. It collapses under his weight.
- The Cameo: There's a lot of them. Drake appears early in the film commentating on Veronica's ass. Eliza Coupe appears as one of the dolphin trainers when Ron briefly works at SeaWorld.
- Catch Phrase: As part of his revamp of the way news is done, Ron ends his broadcasts with "Don't just have a good night, have an American night."
- Chroma Key: Brick comes in during St. Patrick's Day, dressed for the occasion, and goes on live to do the weather. Hilarity Ensues.
- The Cloud Cuckoolander Was Right: Ron spends the entire movie thinking Gary has psychic powers because Ron doesn't know what a psychologist is. The movie treats it like just another thing Ron is ignorant about but during the brawl at the end Gary saves Ron with Telekinesis.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Kench Allerby, who apparently murdered someone before the events of the film began (but was cleared of all charges) and later urges Linda to kill a story that would reveal a massive flaw in his company's jets.
- Corpsing: Christina Applegate can clearly be seen losing her shit just before each camera angle switch in the opening screaming scene.
- Crippling Overspecialization: As a man who's made his living reading news off the teleprompter, Ron is so focused on seeing things that being rendered blind renders him incapable of performing even the most basic tasks, including ones that involve little or no use of sight
- Cute Kitten: Brian is shown photographing them in his introduction.
- Denser and Wackier: From the subplot of Ron adopting a pet Shark to the final battle which includes a soul sucking Stonewall Jackson and Harrison Ford turning into a were-hyena, this trope is in full force for this sequel.
- Description Cut: Ron challenges Mack Tannen to name one instance where he screwed up on the air. Cut to three clips of Ron shouting the news (the teleprompter was in all caps), cursing on-air after mispronouncing "President Carter", and sneezing on the camera lens.
- Embarrassing Last Name: As part of a bet with Ron on who will get better ratings, Jack Lime is forced to rename himself to Jack Lame (and isn't allowed any creative pronunciation). When he protests, Ron offers the even more embarrassing alternatives of "Jack Off," "Art Areola," or "Steve Anus" (and again, Ron doesn't give him choice in pronunciation).
- Ron also suggests "Dick Phuc" as a way to help Jack connect with his Vietnamese audience.
- Expy: Kench Allenby is about half Rupert Murdoch and half Richard Branson.
- Flanderization: Brick gets hit with this hard. His character went from being silly to barely being able to function in normal society.
- Funny Background Event: Whenever Ron is getting makeup applied at the newsdesk, Brick is one of the people applying it.
- How We Got Here: The film opens with Ron being attacked by a shark. It then cuts back to the beginning of the story and works its way back...
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Brick somehow procures a futuristic ray gun for the news brawl! (Note that he had previously been carrying a trident.)
- Innocently Insensitive: Ron has no idea how to behave around blacks; starting from when he keeps chanting "black" in front of his black female boss up to the point where he makes repeated stereotypical comments when having dinner with her family, culminating in him referring to them as "pipe-hittin' bitches".
- It Will Never Catch On: From the "Super Sized R Rated Edition" when the ESPN team shows up for the brawl:
Champ: (dismissive) 24 hours of sports?
Brian: I'd watch that.
- Loophole Abuse: Jack tries this after losing the bet with Ron, wanting to pronounce his new name of Jack Lame with a different inflection ("lah-me" rather than "lame"), but is ultimately shot down by Ron.
- Meaningful Background Event: Brick can actually be seen at his funeral before he takes the podium.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In the process of trying to win a bet, Ron single-handedly invents all the worst tropes of 24 hour cable news. His colleagues are furious in part because it works.
- No Indoor Voice: See 'Black Gal On White Guy Drama' above. Ron apologizes that he can't control the volume of his voice.
- Noodle Implements: As part of some crazy incident he was involved in, Ron has a bag of bowling balls and a scorpion case in his RV.
- Non-Fatal Explosions: For Ron and his crew, at least, a gasoline explosion leaves them merely charred and smoking.
- Old Media Are Evil: Lampshaded by Ron's innovative news casting strategy.
Ron: Why do we have to have to tell people what they need to hear? Why can't we just tell them what they want to hear?
- OOC Is Serious Business: After Ron yells at Brick, Brian's angry response ("Hey! You don't yell at Brick!") is perhaps the only line in the film with no trace of humour in the delivery, making it seem deadly serious by comparison.
- Our Werebeasts Are Different: Mack Tannen shows up at the news brawl and transforms into a were-hyena.
- Personal Arcade: Ron has four pinball machines in his singles pad — Eight Ball, The Six Million Dollar Man, Playboy (Bally), and Harlem Globetrotters.
- Police Are Useless: Nobody is arrested after the battle in New York. Possibly justified in that they would have been seriously outgunned.
- Psychic Powers: Ron assumes Gary has them after being told Gary is a psychologist. Gary's attempts to convince him otherwise fall on deaf ears, especially since he twice dodges Ron's punches. It turns out he really does have psychic powers, and uses them to save Ron during the news brawl.
- Putting the Band Back Together: Ron does this with the news team over the course of the first act, all of them having left Channel 4 in one way or another since the last movie. In order:
- Champ was fired from Channel 4 for going on a drunken racist rant on air, but slipped on a wet floor on the way out and used the settlement money to open a fried chicken restaurant that serves bats (and implicitly cats).
- Brian became a celebrity cat photographer living in a mansion.
- Brick was lost at sea and pronounced dead... and thought he was dead as a result. After some convincing from the rest of the news team, Brick realizes he's not dead and rejoins them.
- Re Cut: The Super Sized R Rated Edition uses alternate takes and scenes with some added content. The most notable differences:
- An Overly Long Gag about warm donkey piss.
- Brick apparently was a bounty hunter in Hawaii during the year he was presumed lost.
- The Winnebago scene replaces the bowling ball and scorpions with a deep frier.
- In one version, all three items are in the Winnebago. Champ gets hot oil on his face when the Winnebago rolls over but there's no evidence of damage in any scene after that
- A couple of musical numbers are thrown in though the Doby song is removed. In fact the Doby arc is severely cut down.
- There is an extended scene showing Ron, Brian and Champ smoking crack.
- Prior to sucking his soul, the ghost of Stonewall Jackson lest Ron ask him three questions.
- Serial Escalation: The film has an even crazier news brawl than the first. Liam Neeson joins the fray with a minotaur and the ghost of Stonewall Jackson, Harrison Ford is a were-hyena, and Will Smith is able to call in jets to strafe the opposition.
- Take That: Takes a stab at the Network Decay the The History Channel has gone through. The history network is backed by a Minotaur with lampshading that such a thing isn't even really history.
- The Stinger: Brick eating a cookie under the news table. As he eats, he waves to the audience.
- The Super Size R Rated edition has Champ and Brian try to pick up two woman in a bar
- Temporary Blindness: Ron is rendered blind late in the second act. It turns out to be fixable, but Veronica doesn't let him know...
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: The reason why Wes Mantooth saves Ron at the end.
- This Is Unforgivable!: Champ & Brian's reaction when Ron yells at Brick.
- Throwing Out the Script: In the finale, Ron ditches the teleprompter and gets into a scathing critique of the news format he has helped invent (with more than a little Author Avatar shining through), then apologizes to his friends, outs Kench's airline as garbage, and leaves to see his son's recital.
- Trailers Always Spoil. The scene where Brick attends his own funeral was shown ruining the gag.
- Unrated Edition: Averted. The Super-Sized version wears its R rating proudly.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Ron seems to be the only one who reacts to the fact that the ghost of Stonewall Jackson is walking around.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Or "Were-Hyena" in this case. Unseen after its transformation.
- The outcome of the big newscaster battle is unknown as well. The Canadian News Team are all seen being poisoned by Brian's Sex Panther grenade, and the MTV News is presumably blown up when Brick fires his ray gun at them.
- Jack Lime and Wes Mantooth also vanish when Brick lights celebratory fireworks on a the gasoline spill, although considering the fact that Ron and the news team turn up unharmed following said explosion, it's likely the explosion was either somehow non-fatal, or they moved out of the way in time.
- What the Hell, Hero?: The news team gets on Ron's case after he kills Brian's story about the defective jets without an adequate explanation, then snaps at them when they push the issue, accusing him of being more concerned with ratings than reporting. Ron then insults Brick, making Champ and Brian even angrier.
- Worst News Judgement Ever: With the help of his team, Ron Burgundy effectively invents this to draw eyeballs to the 2 AM newscast, with a run of features that consists solely of sensational fluff stories about celebrities, adorable animals, gimmicky sports highlights, and tributes to American patriotism.
- Your Soul Is Mine: The ghost of Stonewall Jackson has the power to steal peoples' souls, and almost takes Ron's.