Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E dir Adam McKay
scr Will Ferrell, Adam McKay
with Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Fred Willard, Vince Vaughn, Luke Wilson, Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Tim Robbins, Missi Pyle
release US 9.Jul.04, UK 10.Sep.04
04/US 1h31

Groovy baby: Rudd and Ferrell (centre) entertain the fans

shadows shadows shadows
See also:
Anchorman 2 (2013)
Anchorman Here's another film from the Stiller-Wilson-Vaughn-Ferrell retro-1970s universe (see also Starsky & Hutch, Dodgeball, Old School), where grown men are trapped in a world of bad hair and scary fashion and much simpler values. In fact, the period vibe is basically the whole point to this charming and often very funny film.

Ron Burgundy (Ferrell) is the star anchorman on a local San Diego TV channel in the mid-1970s, but things are about to change with the arrival of ambitious reporter Veronica (Applegate), who wants the anchor chair. Ron and his colleagues (cool-dude reporter Rudd, dorky weatherman Carell and meathead sportscaster Koechner) aren't worried, since no woman has ever anchored the news. And when Ron and Veronica fall in love, he feels that his chair is secure. But the times they are a-changin'.

Ferrell creates another endearing icon with Burgundy, a lumbering oaf who's both blindly arrogant and sweetly loyal. It's hard to imagine another actor who could do this kind of thing--maybe Chevy Chase--as he dives so deeply into Ron's head that the character somehow ceases to be silly. It's basically a sketch comedy turn expanded to feature length and fleshed out just enough to give him a life of his own. No one else in the film really has a chance. Their characters remain at the superficial level, although Applegate as usual adds a wonderful emotional and intellectual life to her role. While the side characters and cameos add moments of laugh-out-loud hilarity.

And even though the film does keep us chuckling, it's not really that funny. The humour is more nostalgic, playing on the "Oh, isn't it funny that we used to be like this" line. So if you don't remember the '70s, or prefer to forget it, you may only giggle sporadically at the slapstick or vulgarity. But it's nicely directed and knowingly written, and features enough silly comedy to make up for the overriding tone of gentle, self-conscious satire. Not a classic, but funny and endearing enough to keep a smile on your face for 91 minutes.

cert 12 themes, language, innuendo 5.Aug.04

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... Anchorman mmbluebird, net: 1/5 "this movie was terrible. it wasnt even funny. sometimes a movie can be stupid and then it can be so stupid that it is funny but this movie was below all of it. i felt like breaking the tv while watching it. it made no sence and didnt make me laugh. the person must of been on drugs." (25.Apr.05)
© 2004 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall