ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY (director: Adam McKay/writer; screenwriter: Will Ferrell; cinematographer: Thomas Ackerman; editor: Brent White; music: Alex Wurman; cast: Will Ferrell (Ron Burgundy), Christina Applegate (Veronica Corningstone), Paul Rudd (Brian Fantana), Steve Carell (Brick Tamland), David Koechner (Champ Kind), Fred Willard (Ed Harken), Danny Trejo (Bartender), Chris Parnall (Garth), Bill Lawson (Narrator), Ben Stiller (Arturo Mendes), Luke Wilson (Frank Vitchard); Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer: Judd Apatow; Dreamworks Pictures; 2004)
The uneven comedy is sometimes amusing but too often it’s a bad joke prolonged.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Director Adam McKay(“The Other Guys”/”The Big Short”) co-writes with his SNL buddy Will Ferrell this wildly ridiculous slapstick comedy on TV anchors during the 1970s. The uneven comedy is sometimes amusing but too often it’s a bad joke prolonged. Will Ferrell is Ron Burgundy, a smug, male chauvinist top-rated anchorman for Channel 4 news in San Diego. Everything goes his way until the station hires an attractive ambitious news reporter, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), who wants to be the first woman news anchor (problem is in the 1970s there were female news anchors across the country). Ron does not want to co-anchor with her, he just wants to sleep with her. Comedy is mined out of his efforts and those of his news team of–the pig-headed sports reporter Champ (David Koechner), the dumb weatherman Brick (Steve Carell), and the moronic field reporter Brian (Paul Rudd), to undermine her feminist moves to break into the male dominated news team. The jokes are lame, but cameos by Tim Robbins ( Public TV News Anchor), Jack Black (motorcycle sadist), Vince Vaughn (the number 2 rated anchor in San Diego), and Seth Rogen (cameraman at the zoo) give it a boost. Its best virtue is that it doesn’t take itself seriously, and its goofy comedy might please an audience not in a critical mood but willing to take it lightly as a series of TV skits. Fred Willard is his usual comical delight, as he plays the harried station manager.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”