Movie Review: Anchorman The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

Posted: January 20, 2013 in Comedy
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Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is the top rated anchorman in San Diego in the early 1970’s.  Burgundy and his news team , field reporter Brian Fontana (Paul Rudd) sports reporter Champ Kind (David Koechner)  and dim witted weatherman Brick Tamland  (Steve Carell) are kings of the male dominated local news hill.  They have competition from the likes of rival anchor Wes Mantooth (Vince Vaughn) but he’s not much competition.  The times they were a changing, and station manager Ed Harken (Fred Willard) is getting pressure to diversify the news team, to he hires Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) as an addition to the news team.  At first, all the men try to date Veronica, but they all strike out, even though Brian is wearing Sex Panther, a fragrance banned in some countries because of its use of actual panther.  Ron is the last one to try dating Veronica, and he wins her over by playing jazz flute in a club called Tino’s.  The next day, Ron brags about his latest conquest on the air, and Veronica is understandably perturbed.

Ron Burgundy’s perfect world is about to come crashing down around him.  While driving, Ron throws a nearly full burrito out the window that hits a biker.(Jack Black)  The biker retaliates by kicking Ron’s beloved dog, Baxter off a bridge.  Ron is so upset, he cannot do the news, so Victoria fills in as lead anchor.  The ratings are in, and Victoria’s a hit, and now she’s Ron’s co-anchor, the bickering between the co-anchors begins.  Victoria learns that Ron will read anything on the teleprompter, and sabotages him. Ron gets fired, and goes on a drinking binge at the local bar.  Then the biggest story in local news is about to break, the panda at the San Diego Zoo is about to give birth, and Veronica is nowhere to be found.  Ed Harken calls Ron.  Can Ron save the day and find Veronica?

This is just a flat out funny movie.  I understand that Ron Burgundy is a male chauvinist pig, but he’s a jerk with a big attitude adjustment coming in the form of a smart woman named Veronica Corningstone, she’s seen all this sexism before and she won’t put up with it.    The counterbalance of Ron’s asinine attitudes about women and Veronica’s smart and sometimes ruthless drive to become an anchor is what makes this movie fun to watch.  Ron understanding the dog is an old gag from Steve Martin’s The Jerk, but that’s ok, it’s funny too.

Will Ferrell  has played a jerk many times, racecar driver Ricky Bobby, one of the Stepbrothers in Stepbrothers, but Ron Burgundy is a likeable jerk, unlike the other two characters, something about him makes him likeable.  Christina Applegate is fantastic in this movie, she makes a great foil for Ferrell, and is quite funny in her own right.  Paul Rudd is also funny as the sex-crazed newsman Brian Fontana,  Steve Carell is a one joke character, which gets old fast, and David Koechner has a man crush on Ron.  There are funny cameos by Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, and Tim Robbins.  It’s just gut bustlingly funny, often in bad taste, but just relax and enjoy. Produced by Judd Apatow produced this before becoming famous for Superbad and Knocked Up.  They are making a sequel which is why I wanted to re-watch the original, I hope Ferrell and company don’t screw it up.

Anchorman:  It aint heavy, it’s funny.


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