"Anchorman" was the movie that launched a thousand careers. Will Ferrell became a superstar, Steve Carell, Seth Rogen (who had a bit part in the film) and Paul Rudd would soon follow, and Judd Apatow would become the most powerful and lauded comedy writer, director and producer in Hollywood.
Nine years later, the gang is all back for "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues." Harrison Ford, James Marsden, Greg Kinnear and Meagan Good are only a few of the A-list surprises (we won't spoil the rest). And of course, there's Ron's good friend, Baxter the dog.
Even with the star power, is "Anchorman 2" the sequel that no one wanted, or does it do justice to the legend of Ron Burgundy? Here are some critics' thoughts on the film, which opens Wednesday (December 18).
Will Ferrell Stays Classy
"With those eyes that are a little too close together, and that confident swagger that looks as if it could disintegrate into a pratfall at any time, Ferrell makes a grand ringleader for all this nonsense. A few years ago, when he was making film after film, he became dangerously overexposed: A little of his pompous demeanor goes a long way. But he's an inherently generous performer, which is rare for big comic actors -- they need the spotlight like fish need water, and they usually just drink it all. Ferrell doesn't demand to be the center of attention at all times. He's good at opening up the space around him for his fellow performers." -- Stephanie Zacharek, The Village Voice
Guest Stars Galore, And A Minotaur
"In 'Anchorman 2,' the shock of the new gives way to the comfort of the familiar, but even when McKay and Ferrell repeat an earlier gag -- a great-white-shark attack in place of 'Anchorman's' epic bear fight, an episode of temporary blindness that recalls the psychosomatic paralysis in 'Talladega Nights' -- they find delirious ways of building on and reinventing it, not unlike one of Burgundy's own unhinged jazz flute solos. This is never truer than in the restaging of 'Anchorman's' rival-newsman rumble, this time with a cavalcade of genuinely surprising surprise guest stars ... and an honest-to-goodness Minotaur." -- Scott Foundas, Variety
The Men Have All The Fun
"It's also a pity that McKay and Ferrell couldn't figure out more for the women in the movie to do -- Applegate spends most of the movie off-screen, Good gets relegated to reaction shots and even Kristin Wiig's turn as the one woman in the world mentally impaired enough to be Brick Tamland's soulmate feels more like a one-note rehearsal than an actual character." -- Alfonso Duralde, The Wrap
Takes Some Time To Get Going
"Especially toward the beginning, the filmmaking is quite clunky and lacking in finesse. But the comic potential of individual scenes reaps the benefit of what one would imagine to have been lots of rewriting, improv and careful preparation, as a good percentage of the funny stuff is right on the money." -- Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
Still An Afternoon Delight
"The outsize expectations for 'Anchorman 2' -- its marketing campaign and tie-ins with various Jockey underwear, Ben and Jerry's ice cream and other products nearly rival that of a 'Transformers' movie -- means that some disappointment is inevitable. This sequel may not produce any quotable lines, but to borrow one from the original: Don't act like not you're not impressed." -- Rafer Guzman, Newsday