‘Anchorman 2’ revels in the absurd and random, but still repeats itself

Contributed
Will Ferrell in ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.’ Rated PG-13, 119 min. Paramount Pictures, 2013.

Written by star Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” gives fans of the original exactly what they want, which is more time with the endlessly quotable news team. Ferrell is Ron Burgundy, the buffoon of a 1970s newscaster who is recruited by the first cable news network. He and his cohorts, played by Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Steve Carell, make you wonder how they can be employed at all, but the joke is that they set the template for all the 24-hour news channels we know today.

While “Anchorman 2” falls victim to the sequel trap of just re-mixing exactly what worked the first time, it manages to be even weirder than you’d expect: Burgundy performs a jazz flute solo on ice skates and sings a love ballad to a shark.

The dialogue is engineered to be outrageous and hilarious, but the taste of many jokes crosses the line between edgy and offensive. These characters may be ignorant, racist chauvinists, but the movie laughs with them instead of at them. Anyone offended by jokes about disabilities would be smart to stay away.

A highlight is the cameo-filled finale that takes “absurd” to new heights.

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