Ferrell makes me see Burgundy
Will Ferrell is one of the guys who's style of comedy is either going to make you love him or loathe him. For me I fall into the latter group and can count the number of Will Ferrell movies which I really enjoy on just one hand. Unfortunately "Anchorman - The Legend of Ron Burgundy" is not one of them and found it to be a pretty pointless exercise in self promotion rather than anything else. Having said that I am sure for those who remember the news shows which this movie pastiches will find it a little amusing.
"Anchorman - The Legend of Ron Burgundy" takes us back to 70s San Diego and into the male dominated world of the TV newsroom, where Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell - Starsky & Hutch) is the much loved living legend of the news world. But his chauvinistic attitude towards women is tested when a beautiful and ambitious news woman joins his team causing a love hate relationship.
The trouble for me with "Anchorman - The Legend of Ron Burgundy" is that despite having a plot, it pays little attention to it, feeling more like a movie designed for Will Ferrell to showcase his style of comedy. And as such at times the whole thing comes over as hugely disjointed and feels like a series of loosely connected scenes designed to try and prompt laughter than tell a story. Now I know the essence of the movie is all about the comedy but for me there still needs to be a reasonable storyline which drives the scenes rather than just there to fill the gaps between the next idea for a funny scene.
The stupid thing is the actual plot about a woman entering a male dominated world could have not only provided for a greater range of jokes but also provided a great basis for an intelligent yet funny movie. Instead "Anchorman - The Legend of Ron Burgundy" is formulaic, predictable and ignores the characteristics set up in the opening scenes. The ambitious woman gets her head turned too easily, Burgundy turns from chauvinist to loved up puppy in a blink of an eye and whilst on the canine subject, the gags surrounding Burgundy's much loved mongrel are terrible and painfully out of place.
There are times when "Anchorman - The Legend of Ron Burgundy" does work and this is when it attempts to parody the 70's newsroom. From the way they spoof the close knit team from the roving reporter, the weather man and the sports specialist it works. But then they start throwing in scenes which are out of key with the rest of the movie, like the rivalry between the different channels news teams which end up in some sort of outrageous street battle. It doesn't work and is part of the reason why "Anchorman - The Legend of Ron Burgundy" is stupid and sadly for me not funny.
As previously mentioned this movie feels purely like a vehicle to showcase Will Ferrell and he certainly makes the most of it, being outrageously over the top and obnoxious at every opportunity. Unfortunately shouting a lot and being excessive is not in essence enough to be funny, and when the same thing is done over and over again it becomes boring and predictable. As for Ferrell doing any acting, well acting the fool is about the level.
What is also quite annoying is that "Anchorman - The Legend of Ron Burgundy" stars some great comedians, either in major or minor roles. When there are the likes of Paul Rudd, Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller and Steve Carell in one movie you would hope for laughs coming from all angles. But again it fails because the focus is predominantly on Ferrell and the lines given to the supporting characters are cheap and cheesy. The actual number of famous faces is quite impressive and you can actually have a bit of fun recognizing the different stars.
As for Christina Applegate as the ambitious anchor woman, well it felt like we had gone back to the chauvinistic 70's era. Not only was the character so terribly written she was given some of the poorest lines in the whole movie.
What this all boils down to is that for someone who is a fan of Will Ferrell and his brand of humour I am sure you will revel in the antics going on in "Anchorman - The Legend of Ron Burgundy", but for me it lacked too much to be either enjoyable or memorable. What it turned out to be was a good idea ruined by turning into a one man show and relying too heavily on Ferrell to deliver repeatedly.