Viewed – 16 July 2014 DVD
I had wanted to see this much talked about comedy for a while. I have a liking for Will Ferrell, that former Saturday Night Live comedienne who proved so likable and funny in the popular yuletide hit ‘Elf’. So sitting down to this was quite enticing. Farrell plays Ron Burgundy, a TV channel anchor in the seventies who see’s his chauvinistic, macho persona in jeopardy when he falls for a pretty and ambitious reporter (Christina Applegate).
From the off it’s clear this may have been a fun sketch on SNL, but does it hold up to a full length movie? Not really. Burgundy as a character is a limited ‘gag’ that’s been done before and his surrounding news team, featuring the likes of Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell are equally limited in their appeal. The pairing of Farrell & Applegate works well enough as they make for fun rivals, but after a while the forced humour and the general gooning and pratfalls gets tired. The idea just isn’t all that special, and despite obvious enthusiasm from the cast – the general feeling I was left with was of a simple gag milked for all it’s comedic value, of which there was only very little.
That being said it’s not like this isn’t funny. Farrell gets some good moments (his encounter with Jack Black, his descent into self-loathing), and a showdown between rival news teams with cameos by Tim Robbins and Ben Stiller proved quite funny. Overall though, this was a movie trying to be a lot funnier than it clearly was.
Verdict: 2 /5
I didn’t think much of Anchorman the first time I watched it but I had a flatmate who was obsessed so I was forced to watch it repeatedly. By about the fourth viewing I realised it was probably the funniest movie I had ever seen.
… really? It certainly has some fun moments, but I have seen much funnier and cleverer comedies.