Movie Reviews

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Rating: 8 out of 10
Movie Details: View here

Cast:
Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy
Christina Applegate as Veronica Corningstone
Paul Rudd as Brian Fantana
Steve Carell as Brick Tamland
David Koechner as Champ Kind
Fred Willard as Ed Harken
Chris Parnell as Garth Holliday
Kathryn Hahn as Helen
Fred Armisen as Tino
Danny Trejo as Bartender
Luke Wilson as Frank Vitchard
Vince Vaughn as Wes Mantooth

Summary:
Though the trailers reveal most of the film, Anchorman still has enough laughs in store to make it worth checking out. And by Zeus' beard, expect people to be quoting this movie for a long time.

Story:
In the 1970's, Ron Burgundy is the news anchorman for the #1 station in San Diego. In his male dominated business, he's the man among men. He's supported by ladies man and reporter Brian Fantana, stupid weatherman Brick Tamland, and sportscaster Champ Kind. The four are happy being the top dogs in the news in San Diego and Burgundy believes he's well on his way to realizing his dream of being a network anchor.

However, their world is rocked when Veronica Corningstone arrives on the scene. She's a beautiful and ambitious reporter looking to become the first anchorwoman for the news. The men are, of course, threatened by her and give her the full male chauvinist / sexual harassment treatment in order to chase her away, but she sticks to her job. However, Ron Burgundy soon finds himself falling in love with Veronica. They quickly start a relationship and Ron finds himself head over heels for her. But what will happen when Veronica finally gets her shot at being a co-anchor with Ron on the evening news?

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is rated PG-13 for sexual humor, language and comic violence.

What Worked:
As I started watching Anchorman, I was getting worried that I had seen all the funny parts of the film in the trailers and TV commercials. There was a good portion of the movie where there weren't really any laughs because I had already seen the jokes in the previews. However, as the movie progressed, more and more new material popped up and I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. Fortunately the material you haven't seen is funny enough to make Anchorman worth checking out.

This movie is one of those films that radio DJs will be pulling quotes from for years to come. There are so many funny lines in this movie that I'm sure you'll hear people quoting it on the way out of the theater. Some of the bad pickup lines, bizarre exclamations, chauvinist banter, and generally dumb statements from Ron and his buddies are priceless. I'd write them here but I don't want to ruin any more of the movie than what's already been spoiled by the trailers. Suffice it to say you're going to get a kick out of it.

Will Ferrell is hilarious as Ron Burgundy. He's so dumb, macho, and egotistical that you can't help but love him. News anchors are a prime target for parody and Ferrell has nailed them perfectly. Throw in the archaic views from the 70's on women, the workplace, and even littering and you have comedy gold. Christina Applegate more than holds her own against Ferrell as Veronica Corningstone. Though it seems like she's about to crack up laughing in every scene with Ferrell, she's able to generate laughs of her own as the "straight man" of the film. And these two have one of the most bizarre and surreal love scenes I've ever seen in a movie. You'll just have to see it to believe it.

Paul Rudd and David Koechner are fun as Burgundy's fellow newscasters, but they are frequently upstaged by Ferrell. But for some reason Steve Carell is able to steal many of the scenes as well as Brick Tamland. He has some of the dumbest, most inane lines of the film but they end up generating laughs. (These guys also all join in for a funny and surprisingly good acapella rendition of "Afternoon Delight" in the middle of the film that was a highlight.) Burgundy's dog even generates some huge laughs of his own late in the movie.

One of the other treats of the film is the cameos. As you probably already know, Luke Wilson and Vince Vaughn appear as rival news anchors. However, there are a number of other cameos in the film that are equally entertaining, more so if you don't know they're coming. I won't spoil them here, but I think you'll enjoy them. Look for them to appear in a hilarious street fight scene between all the news anchors in town.

Overall, Anchorman is a fun movie that's worth checking out, especially with a big audience. But don't leave your appreciation for dumb humor at home.

What Didn't Work:
As I already mentioned, the previews and commercials for this film spoiled a good portion of the movie. For some reason Dreamworks does this a lot. It's probably too late to avoid ads for the film, but do so if you can. And oddly, a number of the scenes in the trailer have been totally cut from the film. The scenes of Ron hitchhiking and getting shot aren't there. Neither is the "Let's make a baby!" scene, the comment of Veronica being insane for wanting to be an Anchorwoman, or the line where the guy tells Ron about his divorce. It looks like the DVD is going to be jam packed with deleted scenes.

My only other gripe is that Anchorman relies a little too heavily on sexual humor. If they are making fun of male chauvinists then you'd expect a bit of that, but it carries over into other parts of the film. Jokes about vaginas, menstruation, and other such things seem a bit high school-ish when they are equally able to get laughs by being dumb in other ways.

The Bottom Line:
Anchorman is an absurd, stupid comedy that's a lot of fun and well worth checking out at the theater with friends.

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