San Diego’s favorite news team — Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and Champ Kind (David Koechner) — goes global with the first 24-hour cable news channel in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.”
It starts off strong, and it ends even stronger. But there are plenty of weird, messy detours in the middle that don’t always pay off. Burgundy is too often cast as the voice of reason. And it’s at least 20 minutes too long.
Still, here are seven reasons to see it:
1. The best ever use of a deep fryer, a bowling ball and a terrarium full of scorpions. Sure, it was spotlighted in one of the movie’s trailers, but the scene is so deliriously silly, it’s certainly worth watching again. And if you haven’t seen it, prepare to hold on to your bladder.
2. The improv. You can tell by watching it that a good chunk of the dialogue — “By the hymen of Olivia Newton-John!” — was made up on the spot. And the fun the cast is clearly having onscreen is infectious.
3. Brian Fantana’s condom closet. That is all.
4-6. Brick Tamland, Brick Tamland, Brick Tamland. In the hands of Carell, the wackadoo weatherman is one of the most ambitiously deranged comic creations you could ever hope to see.
7. The epic, over-the-top finale. Yes, it’s a callback to the original. But it’s a bigger, crazier and gut-bustingly absurd callback.
“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” is rated PG-13 and opens nationwide December 17.