Monday, July 25, 2005

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

A Film Review

Copyright Dragan Antulov 2005

Hollywood comedies, like Hollywood films in general, are worse now than they used to be. Among those comedies that defy such trend most notable are set in the past. This isn't so surprising, because those comedies tend to relate to older audience, which not only can understand some arcane pop culture references, but also presumably has better taste. One of the films to benefit from this phenomenon is ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY, 2004 comedy directed by Adam McKay.

The plot is set in 1970s San Diego, in a time when the television news were exclusive domain of macho men, usually gathered in "action news" team. One such group is led by Ron Burgundy (played by Will Ferrell), news anchor for local station Channel 4. Self-obsessed Burgundy and his posse are enjoying fame and everything hedonistic 1970s have to offer. But their idyll comes crashing down when the station, in order to provide some diversity to the news, brings aspiring female reporter Veronica Cartwright (played by Christina Applegate) to the team. Burgundy and his friends are appalled with the prospects of a woman challenging their sexist sentiments, but they are also attracted to her.

Like most films created by veterans of Saturday Night Live, ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY is basically a single joke extended to 90 minutes. However, Ferrell and McKay, who wrote the script, overcame those limitations by adding interesting characters, plenty of pop culture references, politically incorrect humour and couple of surreal scenes in best possible moments. Although Ferrell sometimes overacts in his role, this isn't annoying, mostly thanks to the very talented supporting cast and few star comedians appearing in cameo roles. But the best impression is left by Christina Applegate who shows great comedic abilities and again proves that her talents were tragically underused by Hollywood. Although some scenes don't work and although some couldn't see much point in bashing 1970s macho culture, ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY shows that the past has bright future in Hollywood comedies.

RATING: 6/10 (++)


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