Published Jul 01, 2004With one of the film-saving performances in Old School and a breakout leading role in Elf, Will Ferrell has quickly become a comedic force on the big screen. A surprising feat considering this former Saturday Night Live cast member's film career could have headed downward quickly with single-joke attempts such as A Night at the Roxbury. Now after a pair of smart choices when selecting scripts, Ferrell has been given the chance to write one of his own, and the results are downright hilarious.
In a time where sexual harassment ran rampant in the workplace, Ron Burgundy was a local news-delivering king. His ridiculous pick-up lines and baffling antidotes surrounded him with brainless bimbos and adoring fans, but these tactics fail to impress Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), the newest reporter to join the award-winning news team who has Ron running out of ideas to impress her and holding onto his job as lead anchor for dear life. The rest of the all-male news team begins to panic as their moustached leader begins to slip further down the ladder, making way for Veronica to pursue her broadcasting dream.
Anchorman actually starts off a little slow, relying on improvised dialogue between its talented cast to start things off, but it's when scenes of absurdity such as a lethal news anchor battle in a back alley that this film really takes off and nothing is too absurd from then on. Most comedies tend to go downhill when they turn ludicrous and unbelievable, but somehow Anchorman just increases its comedic factor. There are cameos galore including Academy Award winner Tim Robbins and the incredible Jack Black, whose cruel actions as a biker should have PETA on his back. In fact, there's many pokes at sexism, cruelty and other forms of bad taste that should have the easily-offended up in arms, but most fans who will flock to this film should be fully prepared.
Allowing Ferrell to co-write his own material, with the help of director Adam McKay, is the winning ingredient when it comes to Anchorman's success. In the past we've had to see great comedic talents plow through scripts that range from mediocre to dreadful, so it's refreshing to see Ferrell and his support (including the amazing Steve Carell playing a mildly retarded weatherman) deliver the calibre of comedy that they deserve as comedians and we deserve as an audience. Sure it might be juvenile and come across as if there was little thought put into the creation of Anchorman, but don't be fooled as it takes a certain level of brilliance to pull off something so ridiculously hysterical as this. (DreamWorks)