When “Anchorman” premiered in theaters, it managed to cause quite a stir, especially with newsmen who proclaimed despite being a comedy, the film was shockingly true to the personality of a real anchorman, especially in the seventies. Ferrell’s performance as Anchorman Ron Burgundy is such a true work of comedic gold, it’s hard to imagine anyone else in that role besides him. “Anchorman” is such a goofy, very silly, but often very funny comedy that not only pokes fun at anchormen, and the seventies but makes great use of its entire cast leaving no actor unused. “Anchorman’s” overt goofiness will be off-putting to people expecting something more adult, but this is not to be taken seriously.
Ferrell, who was obviously given the permission to ad-lib most of his lines, as witnessed by the opening montage, is utterly hilarious as egomaniacal male chauvinistic anchorman Ron Burgundy who leads a team of anchormen whom currently hold the top spot on television, but when Veronica Corningstone comes on the scene, the men’s club is about to be broken up. There is such a good cast of utterly talented comedic actors here, that no one goes without their own display of pure comic timing and deadpan delivery. Every one of the male cast members perfectly exhibit the male machismo personality required for their distinct personalities, and each contribute their own dose of laughter. I mean from Carrell, Rudd, Willard, Ferrell, and Koechner, what more can you ask for? Paul Rudd (who made the last two awful seasons of “Friends” a lot funnier) is utterly hilarious as cologne connoisseur Brian Fantana who is utterly laugh out loud hysterical.
Rudd who is not entirely known for his comedic performances holds his own against people like Steve Carrell who is ridiculously funny as weatherman Brick Tamland who can never really manage to muster up an opinion of his own, meanwhile David Koechner is priceless as sports announcer Champ Kind who is probably the man you heard announcing the game on a television station somewhere as the archetypal Texas football lover. All four form a truly humorous brotherhood stealing the show away from Christina Applegate who plays the feminist Veronica who is intent on molding a career for herself and reflecting every turn on the men can muster. Ferrell and Applegate luckily have plenty of chemistry together and form a very “War of the Roses” relationship when they discover they share the same goals in their career.
Much of the film’s goofiness stems from the running gags some of which rely on the actors and their relationships (like breaking in to song) while some are just behind the scenes in the station which make for the funniest fodder like messing with the teleprompter, and the anchormen trying to distract Veronica during her newscast, which most of the time made me just crack up. The film carries with it much of the atmosphere of a Zucker brothers film and writers Ferrell and Adam McKay create some of the most witty, and hilarious dialogue that’s most of the time rapid fire in delivery. McKay directs a very silly yet entertaining comedy that is actually funny and very well written. Meanwhile, look for very funny cameos from assorted friends of Ferrell that make this all the more of an entertaining experience. As far as “Anchorman” goes, it offers up all the usual suspects within the supporting cast.
While the supporting cast consists of buddies of Ferrell’s and Rudd’s, we’re also given the ubiquitous cameos from SNL stars that shouldn’t even be in the film, and it’s just all so predictable in the end. You can already see who will be making cameos where, and such is show in the newsman rumble sequence that was funny for a few minutes but just went on way too long for the purpose of showing off cameos from Ferrell’s buddies. The joke with the newsman rumble was laugh out loud hysterical but once it hit the five minute mark, it pretty much overstayed its welcome. As for the film in its entirety, the romance was just too broadly drawn to care anything about. The film goes from really funny jab at anchormen, to just another twisted romance that I wasn’t interested in caring about, and in the end just lost me. Though the film loses much steam in the bland second half that didn’t fit in with the first half, this is an overall very funny, silly, and well acted comedy that must be watched for the great laugh out loud performances, and gut busting gags.