Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

Review No. 398

NOTE: Anchorman was edited from its original R rating in order to earn a PG-13. Incidentally, the “unrated” version–which would have been the R-rated one–contains scenes that are just as unfunny, if not even worse, all in the name of being crass. But that, my friend, is Will Ferrell for you–at his very worst.

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The Bottom Line: Sign off before Anchorman signs on.

Directed by: Adam McKay
Written by: Will Ferrell and Adam McKay
Narrated by: Bill Kurtis
Ron Burgundy: Will Ferrell
Also Starring: Christina Applegate, David Koechner, Fred Willard, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell

Distributed by DreamWorks Pictures on July 9, 2004. Produced in English by the United States. Runs 95 mins. Rated PG-13 on appeal by the MPAA for sexual humor, language and comic violence. Reviewed cut released unrated at 103 mins.

Anchorman was watched on January 22, 2013.

“Based on actual events. Only the people, places and events have been changed. –opening title card”

(…and so ends this outrageous sense of humor…)

Poor Christina Applegate! She’s so beautiful, smart, and funny, but the jokes are all on her in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Why? Apparently, it’s because she’s a woman. You may think, Why does gender matter? Quite frankly, it doesn’t, but only after an hour and a half of tortured attempts at humor does Will Ferrell learn this.

I won’t discredit Anchorman for being offensively unrealistic. This not only stars Will Ferrell, he co-wrote it. Ferrell never wants his comedy to make sense. He just wants us to laugh. Often times, his career has shown success at this. Others, he comes off at downright obnoxious.

Anchorman depicts a relationship between Will Ferrell and Christina Applegate, in hopes that you can believe the two of them together. I feel like as I watched the film, my thoughts wouldn’t cease to parallel Applegate’s:

Good gracious, why won’t he shut up? Is he trying to offend me, or is he trying to offend someone else, whilst looking me in the eyes? All right, I’ll hit pause–no wait, did he just say something clever? I may as well stand by.

Anchorman is Will Ferrell’s Network wannabe. This half-baked poke, however, trades the witty political satire for crass, gratuitous sex jokes. Half the time, it’s like listening to a six-year-old try and repeat whatever he hears on TV. No, Mr. Ferrell, that’s NOT what San Diego means, and if you had just taken the time to Google it, your would have realized that your co-anchor is, in fact, correct.

But if you do want something that’ll make you as mad as hell, please watch Anchorman. There are a few bright spots. Sometimes you can feel better knowing that a few talented faces can waste their time making a film watchable. Ben Stiller, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, and the dog who knows Spanish fluently. They’re the real comic reliefs here.

Critiquing from the blogosphere, I’m the Cinemaniac, and thanks for stopping by.

C

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21 thoughts on “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

    • I’d probably walk out of it too. Not because I hate it so much (I didn’t walk out of any Twilight movies, yet I somehow managed to subject myself to THREE theater viewings) but because I can’t stand sexism. It’s at the very top of my list of pet peeves.

  1. This is definitely one of my favourite comedies but I like reading reviews I disagree with! Senses of humour are so different from person to person comedy is probably the most subjective genre there is.

  2. Whilst I don’t defend this movie quite as much as the other comments here, I also didn’t hate it quite as much as you did – I suppose I just found this quite average.

    I think a part of the humour was supposed to derive from the time period this film was set in (the 70s) and how rampant sexism was – particularly in the media. This therefore allows Ferrell and co. to get away with their supposedly outrageous remarks as a part of it is winking to the audience – “of course we’d never be able to say this NOW, but how silly were people back then?!” Not that this necessarily worked, but I can at least see what they were trying to do.

    Regardless, I did enjoy reading your thoughts on this – it’s refreshing to find someone that doesn’t completely love it and isn’t willing to reel out the numerous one-liners in attempts at cheap laughs.

    • I had completely forgotten this was set in the ’70s until I found it on IMDb. That’s when I remembered a few of the opening moments, and a few of the other hints that it took place in the ’70s. They didn’t make it clear enough, I’d say. Perhaps the setting was changed last minute so that the film wouldn’t generate question over sexism in a condoning era.

      Do all other reviews of this movie really have the tiresome one-liners thrown around? Thank you so much for NOT linking me to them. πŸ™‚

    • The ending made me chuckle a bit because it was so stupid (almost to the point of clever). But essentially, it could have been rewritten in millions of better/stupider ways. It was just an excuse to produce a sequel, which I will avoid.

    • I do love Will Ferrell in general. I’ve seen Talladega Nights two or three times and no matter how many times I’ve heard it all, it always manages to crack me up as if it were the first time. I love how he’s not afraid to be dumb as if there’s an art in being dumb. I felt as if here, he was trying to convey sexism as an art. I know it’s like saying that I hated Cannibal Holocaust because it was so monstrously brutal (actually, that’s why I haven’t seen that film), or that I hated Funny Games (a film I’d actually like to see) because it’s about domestic violence; but I HATE when comedies try and promote misogyny. To me, at least, there’s nothing humorous about it, and I wonder how often these people realize it’s happening.

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