Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy


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).

anchorman

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

Hall Pass


Viewed – 09 September 2011  Blu-ray

The Farrelly Brothers have gained quite a reputation for crude but usually very well made comedies, starting out with the classic Dumb & Dumber.  Although I haven’t really followed their career that closely, something about this latest effort sparked my interest.  Two married men (Owen Wilson & Jason Sudeikis), with a habit of checking out attractive women in their wives’ presence, are given a hall-pass, a week off from marriage where they can pursue other women whilst their wives are away.  The two men along with their gang of friends (including brit-comedy star Richard Merchant) then attempt to get laid by any means necessary, but soon discover that things have changed, especially themselves since they were younger.

This at first gentle comedy, with a somewhat slow start, soon turns into a very funny and absorbing journey, filled with priceless moments (the girl in the bathroom for example) that although often crude and juvenile, couldn’t help but make this viewer crack up.  Wilson and Sudeikis make for a likable duo, even if Owen’s bent nose distracted me throughout.  Sudeikis though is obviously a talented comedy star.  The wives, including Christina Appelgate are fine too, but are more like pretty set dressing than anything that will steal the limelight from the men.

It doesn’t do anything new for this kind of comedy, but what matters is that it knows how to hit the viewer and surprise them, even when you think you know how things will turn out.  A solid recommendation.

Verdict:  4 /5