A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
Positive role models & representations
Drinking, drugs & smoking
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is the sequel to the 2004 Will Ferrell comedy Anchorman. As with the first one, the movie includes outrageous, irreverent humor, with comical violence -- mostly bloodless and with few casualties -- and plenty of sexual banter and innuendo, though no nudity. Language is also playful and strong, with uses of "bitch," "ass," and many other choice words. The main characters comically smoke crack while on the air, and there's some background drinking and smoking. There's also some comical racial stereotyping, but mostly at the expense of the speaker. Overall, the message about the importance of family and the quality of news is an interesting one, and could give parents and teens something to discuss together.
What's the story?
After the events of the previous movie, anchorman Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is happily married to his co-anchor Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) and things couldn't be better -- until Veronica is promoted and Ron is fired. Ron takes the news badly and bottoms out when he is approached about joining a new 24-hour news cable network. Ron scoffs at the idea, but takes the job and finds great success as he changes tactics, making the news "fun" rather than informative. He begins an intense relationship with his boss, Linda Jackson (Meagan Good), but fate takes another turn when an accident robs him of his sight. While blind, he discovers that his family is his strongest anchor -- his family and a baby shark.
Is it any good?
Co-writers Will Ferrell and Adam McKay hit upon a brilliant idea in their return to their beloved Ron Burgundy character. Since we left Ron in the late 1970s, it only makes sense that he should be part of the 24-hour news cycle of the 1980s, as well as the deterioration of TV news and its transformation into ratings-based entertainment. The dumb, yet confident Burgundy is the perfect character for it. This clever thread alone makes the movie worth viewing. But happily, it's very funny, too.
Ferrell and McKay base most of their humor on unexpected, bizarrely rhythmic wordplay and images that support that wordplay. Not every joke is going to work for every viewer. Parts of the movie go over the top, and it definitely sprawls a bit, nearly hitting the two-hour mark. But the best jokes are spread generously throughout, and performers like Kristen Wiig and Meagan Good are quite wonderful in a movie dominated by men. It's a worthy sequel that tickles the brain as well as the funnybone.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Families can talk about the movie's comical violence. What makes violence on screen funny, as opposed to thrilling or disturbing? Do you think comical violence ever goes too far?
- How do you react to the movie's scenes of racial stereotyping? Were they offensive or funny? Who is the target of this humor?
- What does the movie have to say about the state of TV news? Does it approve or disapprove? How has the situation changed since the 1980s?
- In theaters: December 20, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: April 1, 2014
- Cast: David Koechner, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Will Ferrell
- Director: Adam McKay
- Studio: Paramount Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 119 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: crude and sexual content, drug use, language and comic violence
For kids who love comedy
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.