Release Date: 2014-04-01
Duration: 119 Min
In the opening shot, a voice-over narrator (Bill Kurtis) tries to continue the legend of Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) by reintroducing Ron as he is frantically swimming away from a shark. Instead, however, the narrator decides to cut to New York City in what is now 1980, where Ron and his wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) are walking together down the street. A guy on the street hollers at Veronica to tell her she’s got a nice ass. Veronica asks Ron if he’s going to say something about it, but Ron acknowledges that Veronica’s ass attracts other men.
The two are doing the news at the World Broadcast news station. After their broadcast is over, they are called up to meet with their boss Mack Tannen (Harrison Ford). Mack promotes Veronica to full time anchorwoman, and he fires Ron, calling him the worst anchorman he’s ever seen. Ron questions what it is that he’s done wrong, and we see a number of things in a montage: yelling the news because the teleprompter text was in all caps, cursing on live television and sneezing on the camera lens, among other things. This pisses Ron off all the way back home, where his and Veronica’s son Walter (Judah Nelson) can hear his parents arguing. Ron snaps at the boy, telling him he will never achieve his dream of being an astronaut or cowboy and instead ought to aim for working in fast food or in porn. Ron also gives Veronica an ultimatum – either she chooses him, or her job.
Six months later, a disgraced and divorced Ron is working as an announcer at Sea World in San Diego. He’s holding a glass of scotch, totally drunk, and he starts weeping in front of the crowd at how low he’s sunk. He then makes crude comments toward the female commentators, and then starts mocking the dolphins as they do their show. The crowd boos him and he is later fired. He gets dumped in his dressing room by security where his trusty and beloved dog Baxter is sitting. Ron decides to hang himself from the fluorescent light, but his weight causes the light to break. Seconds later, a man named Freddie Shapp (Dylan Baker) enters. He pulls Ron back up and later takes him to a diner to discuss with him a job offer in the city. The Global News Network station is set to have a 24-hour news program, which Ron thinks is a stupid idea. Freddie then shows him an envelope with what would be his weekly salary, causing Ron to exclaim, “By the hymen of Olivia Newton-John!” Ron accepts the offer and tells Freddie he’s got the perfect news team for the job.
Ron first goes to pick up former co-worker and sportscaster Champion “Champ” Kind (David Koechner), who was fired from his news team for being a racist misogynist. He now owns a fried chicken joint called “Whammy! Chicken”, though Ron points out that the chicken is really bat meat. Ron tells Champ about the new job offer, and Champ is on board.
Next, Ron and Champ pick up their old field reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), who has done well for himself photographing kittens. He likes the idea of live nude strip clubs in New York City, and he joins the two.
Ron, Champ, and Brian head off to find weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell). Brian informs Ron and Champ that Brick died. They go to his funeral, where their old boss Ed Harken (Fred Willard) and old colleague Garth Holliday (Chris Parnell) are present. Next up to say a few words is… Brick, who is very much alive. He starts yelling and crying to the heavens until his three friends have to remind him that he is alive.
On the road to the Big Apple, the gang starts reminiscing about funny stories from their past. Brick tells stories about a dream he had, which none of the others get. Brian then points out that nobody is driving the RV, but Ron thinks that because it is set on cruise control, the RV will drive itself. The RV then steers itself off the road, causing the gang to fly around, while Ron’s very misplaced items (a deep fry oil cooker, a terrarium of scorpions, and a bag of bowling balls) fly all over the place and injure them all.
The gang makes it to New York and to the GNN station. Freddie shows them around where they find all the regular newscasters, including their top prime time star, Jack Lime (James Marsden). The guys are mesmerized by his good looks, though he makes mean comments to Ron about him staring at him. Jack plays it off as a joke, but he obviously doesn’t like Ron. Freddie then takes the guys to meet their new boss Linda Jackson (Meagan Good). The guys are surprised to see that she’s an African-American woman who is in charge, but she makes it clear that she will not take any crap from them. She sends them out, annoyed with their childishness and sexism. Freddie tells the guys that they have an apartment booked on the upper east side and that they’re in charge of the graveyard shift (2-5am), which they’re none too pleased with. As they’re leaving, Brick spots a woman, Chani Lastnamé (Kristen Wiig), staring at the phone as it rings. Her boss (June Diane Raphael) is annoyed with Chani’s incompetence and answers the phone herself. Chani proves to be just as dimwitted and awkward as Brick, which creates a mutual attraction between the two.
Ron goes to visit Veronica to patch things up with her, only to discover that she is now seeing a psychologist named Gary (Greg Kinnear). Ron is annoyed with Gary, and he throws a punch at him, but Gary dodges it, leading Ron to assume that Gary has mind powers. Ron holds a gift meant for Veronica, but, due to his newfound jealousy, he gives it to Walter. It’s lingerie for Veronica, but he makes Walter think it’s a superhero cape. Ron leaves after making insulting comments to both Veronica and Gary.
The gang meets GNN owner Kench Appleby (Josh Lawson), who has a thick Australian accent that makes it hard for them to understand. Jack then proceeds to coolly do the news. Later, Ron makes a comment that Jack isn’t so great, which Brick says out loud, angering Jack. He and Ron form a challenge – if Ron and his team fail to beat Jack’s ratings, they will leave the city, but if they succeed, Jack has to legally change his name to Jack Lame. He accepts the challenge.
The guys have a hard time finding things to report on during their time slot. Ron says that they ought to report on things that people want to hear as opposed to what they need to hear. Freddie likes the idea, and the gang agrees to go through with it. On their way out, Brick runs into Chani again. They have another awkward exchange interrupted when Chani’s boss comes in with phone messages from a week ago that Chani decided to mail to her. This turns into a screaming match when Brick yells at the woman to leave Chani alone because they thinks she’s going to set Chani on fire. Chani is actually canned, but she doesn’t care as she agrees to go on a date with Brick.
On their first night broadcasting the news, which the narrator describes as becoming history in the making, Ron kicks it off by addressing how great America is. This gets people’s attention from all around the city. Champ does a piece on a number of home-runs while repeating his catchphrase, “WHAMMY!” Brick reports on how windy it is outside, and Brian does a piece on the best vaginas in the world. Linda sees this one and immediately rushes off to the station, fuming at the gang’s broadcast. Ron threatens to hit her if she were a man, and she challenges him to go ahead and do it. He then hesitates to do so, and then gets kneed in the nuts by her, sending him to the floor squealing like a child, and he and the guys are fired.
Kench meets with Linda and Freddie to tell them that Ron’s team pulled in higher ratings than Jack has. Linda regrettably tells Kench that she fired them. Freddie goes to the guys’ apartment and tells them that they are rehired. During their run, they become celebrities, endorsing several products (Brick does a butter commercial at one point) and bringing in great ratings. Jack even goes through with the name change, which he is ashamed to say on live TV.
Linda, turned on by Ron’s new celebrity status, tries to make a pass at him, telling him to make weird animal noises. He is unsure of how to go about this and he thinks he’s been raped, though he is not too bothered by it. Brick tells the guys he’s going on a date with Chani, even though he has no idea what a date entails. Brian offers some help by pulling some condoms out of his “jimmy closet”. Brick later goes out with Chani to a laundromat. They stand in front of a soda machine and drink can after can of soda. Chani asks Brick if he’s ever kissed anybody, to which he says only people on TV and his Planet of the Apes toys. The two share their first kiss, which gets weird, though nobody seems mind it.
Meanwhile, Ron and Linda have dinner together, where Ron loudly tells everybody that he’s going to have sex with a black woman for the first time. They go back to his place and finally do it, and this scene is intercut with random footage of Jackie Robinson, the Kirk/Uhura kiss from “Star Trek”, and a clip of “Diff’rent Strokes”.
Kench finds out that Ron and Brian want to do a story called “Death From Above”, which is a report on the failing Koala Airlines business. He tells Linda about it and wants her to see to it that she can get Ron to pull the story, suggesting they try out some synergy.
Linda takes Ron to dinner with her family. He makes a terrible impression by explicitly discussing his and Linda’s sex life, along with using stereotypical jive talk. To top it off, he calls them all “pipe-hitting bitches”, leading Linda’s father to kick him in the head. On their cab ride home, Linda informs Ron that they’re going to pull the “Death From Above” story, and suggests synergy to Ron.
What follows is Ron trying to spend time with Walter. He curses in front of him and tells him that the only thing he should be afraid of is voodoo, and that he should never go to Haiti. Veronica hears of this and is pissed at Ron since Walter can’t sleep after that. She also reminds Ron that Walter has a science fair the next day, and she wants him to attend.
Ron gets tense over what’s been going on, especially as Jack reports that Veronica is set to interview a foreign dignitary over talks of world peace. He also tells Brian that they want to pull the “Death From Above” story. Ron starts taking out his frustrations on them, eventually yelling at Brick. This sends the others over the edge, and Brian punches Ron in the face. He, Champ, and Brick then leave Ron alone.
When Ron has nothing to report, he gets word of a car chase going on. Despite this not being actual news, he goes on air to do this story, just as Veronica is set to do her big interview. The narrator says car chases would become a big deal in the 80’s. The ratings for GNN start climbing as Ron does his story, playing on the excitement of the chase as it develops. This also disrupts Veronica’s interview as WBC shows more interest in the car chase. By the time the chase ends, Ron has delivered a new ratings high for the station, leading to a big celebration. Unfortunately, he misses Walter’s science fair, leaving the boy disappointed.
A celebration is held for Ron as he plays the flute while skating to a crowd. His old friends refuse to continue watching him bask in his glory, and they leave. When nobody is looking, Jack tosses a cable onto the skating rink, causing Ron to trip and fall hard on the ice. The narrator likens this to the story of Icarus flying too close to the sun. As a result, Ron becomes blind.
Once again without a job and without any purpose, Ron relocates to a lighthouse. Champ, Brian, and Brick come to visit him to try and help him out. He only talks about how his blindness has left him unable to perform any tasks that really don’t require vision (he claims to have drank half a bottle of ketchup thinking it was liquor, and he tried masturbating his shin). The guys leave when they realize Ron is hopeless. Not long after, Veronica arrives to get Ron back on his feet. He continues to be unable to perform most simple tasks and only ends up getting frustrated. One day, while on the beach, Walter spots a baby shark trapped in a net. He and Ron set it free, and Walter names it Doby. This gives Ron a new lease on life, allowing him to enjoy time with Veronica and Walter. He helps raise Doby like a pet, even feeding him from a bottle. She also claims to have left Gary because he is too emotionally stable, and it’s annoying to her. When Doby becomes a full grown shark, the family releases him into the ocean. Ron even sings a little song for him.
Their joy is cut short when Ron discovers a message from the doctor saying that he left multiple messages to try and tell him that they can give him his sight back. Veronica had been deleting the messages so that Ron could continue spending time with her and Walter. She apologizes for being selfish, but Ron angrily leaves. He tries driving but then crashes the car. He undergoes the procedure and regains his sight, allowing him to return to GNN.
While Ron is set to do his first big news report since his absence, Veronica goes to visit him and tell him that Walter is going to have a piano recital, and that he wrote a piece for his dad. She also meets Linda, and the two exchange calm yet fiery words to each other, which turns Ron on. Freddie comes in to tell Ron that a TV actress found out about her husband cheating, severed his penis in his sleep, and is involved in a car chase. Veronica understands that Ron would rather do a big news story, so she leaves him to it.
Ron prepares to do the news, but he has a change of heart just as he begins. He addresses the audience by saying he’s gained a new perspective after his recent experiences, as well as acknowledging how much he needs his friends. Kench is angry at him for not doing the story, and Ron leaves, but not before telling everybody that Koala Airlines “is a shitty airline”. He apologizes to his friends, with Brick giving a well-spoken lecture to Ron on how his hubris got the better of him. He then adds that he’s wearing two pairs of pants. The guys cover for Ron as he runs to Walter’s recital.
Unable to hail a cab, Ron runs off to the recital. He is ambushed in the park by Jack and his team. They’re brandishing axes, ready to get Ron back for humiliating Jack. Just then, Brian, Champ, and Brick arrive to back Ron up with their own weapons (Brick has his trident again). Suddenly, a whole bunch of other news teams arrive, ready to engage in yet another epic news team brawl. There’s the BBC news network (led by Sacha Baron Cohen), the MTV news network (led by Kanye West), the entertainment news network (with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler), the apologetic Canadian news team (with Jim Carrey and Marion Cotillard), the history news channel (led by Liam Neeson) and the ghost of Stonewall Jackson (John C. Reilly), and one other news station (led by Will Smith). To top it all off, Mack Tannen reappears to take the form of a were-hyena. The faux Greek goddess Altrusia (Kirsten Dunst) allows for the brawl to start. Heads get bashed, the Canadians hit people with hockey pucks, and Stonewall Jackson steals someone’s soul. Brick kills the MTV news team with a futuristic weapon. Baron Cohen hurls his axe at Ron, but it is stopped by Gary, who turns out to really have mind powers, telepathically stopping the axe from hitting Ron, allowing him to run to Walter’s recital. Will Smith then calls in a jet to shoot at everybody else.
Ron and his friends continue to run but are once again cornered by Jack and his team. Out of nowhere, a group of bikers ride in, led by Ron’s rival from the first film, Wes Mantooth (Vince Vaughn). His team empties their gas tanks around Jack’s team’s feet, and he threatens to drop his cigarette to kill them all. Although Jack points out that this would kill Wes as well, he says that everything he’s done in his life would be enough for him to burn in Hell, so he has no fear of burning on Earth. Jack calls off the fight, leading Brick to celebrate with a sparkler. He drops it on the gas, killing Jack, Wes, and both their respective teams. Ron and his guys rush to Walter’s recital just as he finishes (they get a little burnt), but quick enough to make Walter think they were there the whole time. Ron runs onstage and holds his boy up proudly.
The narrator announces that Ron’s leave from GNN brought in their highest ratings. Ron and Veronica also reconciled, and they attend Brick and Chani’s wedding on the beach. Walter then spots Doby swimming in the ocean. Ron runs out to sea to embrace the shark, thinking he fondly remembers him. Actually, Doby tries to attack Ron. Ron swims away in a panic, and he is saved by none other than Baxter. The brave little dog bites Doby in the side and banishes him. Ron hugs Baxter, even though the dog barks that he wonders why he still maintains their friendship. Everybody else cheers for the two.
After the credits is an outtake of the gang going to plan their first broadcast. Brick crawls under the table to eat a cookie from the floor. He looks at the camera and waves at the audience.