It took nearly a decade to make a follow-up to the 2004 cult hit Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and now the world's classiest newsreader is back to continue his news domination, while taking his jazz flute playing to the next level.

With the 1970s behind him, San Diego's hapless TV anchor (Ferrell) has now arrived at America's first 24-hour cable news station, GNN. Along with his salon perfect hair and trusty companion, Baxter the Spanish-speaking dog, Ron is once again joined by his Channel 4 teammates - hotshot street reporter and Sex Panther stud Brian Fantana (Rudd), bigoted sportscaster Champ 'Whammy' Kind (Koechner) and screwball weatherman and lamp-lover Brick Tamland (Carell).

After Ron's perfectly trimmed moustache is put out of sorts when smarmy news rival Jack Lime (Marsden) comes on the scene and his wife, Veronica Corningstone (Applegate), is promoted he finds himself reduced to working the graveyard shift on a lesser channel where his producer, Linda Jackson (Good), puts pressure on him to keep ratings up.

Steve Carell is as wacky and random as ever in his role as the dumb-but- lovable Brick. His insane one-liners and random scenes, steal the show. From delivering an emotional speech at his own funeral, to his socially awkward romance with mousy secretary Chani (Wigg), Carell provides some comedy gold moments.

Equally, Will offers some delicious gags, while allowing his terrific improvisational skills to shine through. The scene where he gets fired and picks up a gig as an announcer at a dolphin show in San Diego SeaWorld makes the movie worthwhile. There is also a hilarious scene involving a lighthouse, a shark and a visually impaired Ron, that is guaranteed to get a few laughs.

It's refreshing to see Rudd's character being developed, but he lacks direction for the most part. Meanwhile, Koechner's new business venture of a fast-food joint that saves money by serving fried bats which he pawns off as chicken wings, makes for a rewarding subplot.

There is an insane amount of cameos in a blink and you miss them kind of way with Kanye West acting as an MTV News presenter and Liam Neeson heading up the History Channel troupe in the worldwide news battle scene.

At nearly two hours, Anchorman 2 doesn't match the momentum of its predecessor. The movie only sometimes achieves the lunacy and outlandishness of the first flick and hardcore fans will be disappointed with the lack of memorable quotes.

There may not be a domino effect of laugh-out-loud moments in The Legend Returns, but "by the bedpan of Gene Rayburn", this movie still proves to be an afternoon delight.

Laura Delaney