Anchorman: Ferrell lives up to the legend

By Celeste Meiffren
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, July 14, 2004

The main topic of water cooler conversation in every corner of the world has been, "Can Will Ferrell successfully hold an entire movie on his shoulders without the cushion of the holidays?" The answer, surprisingly, is yes.

The main premise of the movie "Anchorman" is that men in the 1970s were pigs. Of course this is not new information. The new element is that it can be quite funny.

Ron Burgundy (Ferrell) and his news team are presented with the sad fact that a woman, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), has been given an opportunity to read the news alongside them. Sigh! Gasp! And the walls came crashing down!

Burgundy's news team consists of Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), Champ Kind (David Koechner), and Brick Tamland ("The Daily Show's" Steve Carell). They are each chauvinistic, quirky, and sad losers in their own right.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy

3 out of 5 stars


Rated: PG-13

96 min.

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As in every one of these comedies, there must be a romantic element. This time, it's between Burgundy and Corningstone. The romance climaxes with a visit to "Pleasure-town." This scene alone is worth the price of admission.

We all know that Will Ferrell is a brilliant character actor and his role in this movie is no exception. Even when the dialogue isn't very funny, he still

manages to get a laugh. This just proves that Will Ferrell might be squeaking past Chris Rock for funniest man in America. Sorry Chris.

No matter how horribly sexist, ridiculous and sad Ron Burgundy gets, you always end up rooting for him. You want him to prevail. You want him to get the girl. You want him to read the news. And ultimately you feel bad that the girl is better than him. Will Ferrell is unknowingly (or knowingly?) reversing years of feminist progress in one silly movie.

In addition to Ferrell's fabulous performance, there are several noteworthy cameos. Luke Wilson, Ben Stiller, Tim Robbins, Danny Trejo, and Vince Vaughn (who is getting sexier with age), all make their un-credited contributions to Ferrell's film.

The best cameo that elicits the biggest laugh comes from Jack Black. His two minutes of screen time are two of the funniest in the entire picture, thus cementing the theory that Jack Black is like salt; you can add him to anything and make it better.

Christina Applegate is decent in the movie. I wanted the leading lady to be Christine Taylor. I suppose I am just used to her being alongside these guys.

Anchorman was threatening to be one of those movies that revealed all of the funny parts in the previews. It doesn't. Strangely enough, though, the funniest parts of the previews aren't in the movie. So, I guess it evens out.

Overall, this movie was funny. I was entertained for the entire hour and a half. And I predict that it will create even more conversation around the water cooler.