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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy » User review

Anchorman: Predictable, Boring, and Not Funny

  • Jul 12, 2004
Pros: Ferrell, cameos

Cons: not funny, boring, awful characters

The Bottom Line: "It's anchorman not anchorlady!"

In comedy, there is such a thing as good stupid. Dude, Where’s My Car? was certainly a stupid movie featuring stupid characters, but at least it made me laugh. It doesn’t take much to make me chuckle, but I think I laughed approximately five times during Anchorman, and two of those were during the outtakes in the credits, which are better than anything in the body of the movie. I thought the theater was empty since I didn’t hear any laughter during the film, so I was surprised to see at least 25 other silent viewers exiting as we did. I guess I wasn’t the only one who was not amused.

With a boring premise, an excruciatingly slow plot, and un-interesting characters, Anchorman’s only redeeming moments come from cameos and musical references. The sloppy script features painfully repetitive and sophomoric jokes. My 18-year-old brother, with whom I saw Anchorman, gave “disappointing” as his one-word review. I chose “horrible.”

I thought Anchorman would be a satire of an E! True Hollywood Story type of program, but all it does is vaguely make fun of the Burt Reynolds style of ladies’ man. But like Stepford Wives, the satire in Anchorman (if you can call it that) is stale. Making fun of hairy-chested, polyester suit-wearing misogynists with puffy hair and bushy mustaches isn’t exactly topical. And are we supposed to hope Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) will end up together? Burgundy is repulsive and pompous, and I wouldn’t wish his affections on my worst enemy.

With his catchphrase “stay classy,” Ron Burgundy is living large in 1970s San Diego. Even though he’s not very bright – he doesn’t know what the expression “when in Rome” means, and he thinks San Diego is German for whale’s vagina—he is a successful anchorman and has good luck with the ladies. One day, he meets Veronica Corningstone, an intelligent and spunky young reporter who speaks her mind and knocks him off his feet. Ron and his co-workers at the TV station, most of whom are even dumber than he is, all want to get into Veronica’s pants. A bunch of crude jokes ensue, some of which are tinged with homophobia, and most of which didn’t make me crack a smile. The Daily Show’s Steve Carell is funny for a while as imbecile weatherman Brick Tamland, but the script runs thin too soon.

In addition to the uninteresting love story/battle of the sexes, Anchorman features a bitter rivalry among Burgundy’s Channel Four news team and the reporters from San Diego’s other stations. Their West Side Story inspired street fight is one of the film’s bright spots, but it wasn’t as funny as it could have been. I don’t want to spoil the cameos for those who haven’t seen the movie yet, but this fight scene, along with one where Burgundy chucks a burrito out a car window provide the best surprise appearances and earned the biggest reactions from the crowd.

Fred Willard as station manager Ed Harken is excellent, as always, but Burgundy’s sidekicks Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), the womanizer, and Champ Kind (David Koechner), whose character can only be described as idiotic, are tedious and terminally unfunny. Fred Armisen has a silly face, so he was relatively humorous, but he doesn’t get to say any clever lines as Tito, the club owner. Will Ferrell, always a whirlwind of energy ready to humiliate himself, is fairly funny as Ron Burgundy, but it’s a weak performance by his standards. Applegate is charming and beautiful in a standard way.

While low-budget films can be excellent (i.e. The Good Girl), Anchorman feels like it was thrown together at the last minute by fusing together a few unfinished concepts. As a result, nothing really happens, and the pacing is so off that the 90-minute running time could have been cut in half.

Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, and Luke Wilson were a killer combination in Old School, but Anchorman tastes like two week-old keg beer. This fraternity deserves a demerit.


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More Anchorman: The Legend of Ron B... reviews
review by . June 14, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****    Adam McKay's "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" is a full-time, full-force farce. A lot of comedies tend to at least try and achieve some sort of slight dramatic resonance, but this film has a whoopee cushion for a brain. Whenever the artificial sound of a fart is triggered, the film gets inspired. But that's just how it works. And it might have rendered the screenplay - which it racy, talky, and somewhat raunchy (although only extended to dick and fart …
review by . July 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I love. Love. Love this movie. I could watch it a hundred times. Will Ferrell is a master of comedy, especially here. I think this is his best role yet. Christina Applegate plays a great straight man in contrast to Ferrell's clowning.      Full of awesome slapstick and a fantastic cast, Anchorman delights at any time of day, not just in the afternoon…you have to pay attention to get some of the jokes in this movie!      Steve Carell is amazing at …
Quick Tip by . July 07, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The first in a long line of similar comedies about the titular character and his amazing life. Will Farrell plays the immortal San Diego local news celebrity who fights for his job after a gaffe costs him it. Funny but not hilarious. Will Farrel's infantile style of humor works well.
Quick Tip by . July 07, 2010
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This had one of the voted best 'battles' in movie making! A must for Will Farrell fans!!
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
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Great cast, great premise, great look...but why was this movie so mediocre?!
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
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Apatow and Ferrell are at their best in this movie. Christina Applegate shows that she can hold her own in a comedy playing a women with a brain.
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
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review by . November 23, 2008
Anchorman is a film that only comes around once every decade or so and it sets the standard for any comedies to follow. Arguably being Will Ferrells best it's a film with very ridiculous comedy moments brought together in an extremely intelligent way. It's not something where the jokes are reeled off one by one in an in obvious way, in fact some of the more funny jokes you can miss the first time round as they're very subtle. Along with Will Ferrell this film has a very strong supporting cast with …
review by . April 06, 2006
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Anchorman just happens to be one of those movies that have a very interesting concept but it can seem incredibly stupid at the same time. I can't lie because I am a big Will Ferrell fan so I was very hype to see it when it came out so I went right to the theatres. I came out with a lot of anger and all I could say was it was horrible. After seeing it in the theatre for some reason I bought the DVD and now I can't stop watching it. See these types of movies need a tremendous amount of nothing to …
review by . December 09, 2005
"Anchorman" just didn't do it for me. At once it was a laugh out loud, slap your mama funny movie and then it becomes this dull, worn out, drawn out and unfunny Saturday Night Live skit from the mid-90's. In other words, when it is funny, it's very funny, but when it misses the mark, it misses by a good ol' country mile.    Will Ferrell goofs his way through this flick in sometimes funny, but mostly annoying, fashion. Christina Applegate wasted herself here. The "newsteam" that …
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About this movie


Will Farrell followed up his star-making vehicleElf, which matched his fine-tuned comic obliviousness to a sweet sincerity, with a more arrogant variation on the same character: Ron Burgundy, a macho, narcissistic news anchor from the 1970s. Along with his news posse--roving reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd,Clueless), sports guy Champ Kind (David Koechner), and dim-bulb weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell,Bruce Almighty)--Burgundy rules the roost in San Diego, fawned upon by groupies and supported by a weary producer (Fred Willard,Best In Show) who tolerates Burgundy's ego because of good ratings. But when Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate,View from the Top) arrives with ambitions to become an anchor herself, she threatens the male-dominated newsroom.Anchormanhas plenty of funny material, but it's as if Farrell couldn't decide what he really wanted to mock, and so took smart-ass cracks at everything in sight. Still, there are moments of inspired delirium.--Bret Fetzer
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Director: Adam McKay
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: 9 July 2004 (USA)
Screen Writer: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay
Runtime: 94 min
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