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Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (12A)



Review by: Jack Foley | Rating: Two

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Deleted Scenes; Bloopers; The Making Of Commentary; Afternoon Delight Music Video.

FORMER Saturday Night Live Star, Will Ferrell, is on headline-grabbing form for his latest comedy, Anchorman, a surreal and utterly stupid look at the male-dominated news-rooms of the Seventies.

As super-coiffed news-reader, Ron Burgundy, Ferrell is the epitome of male chauvinism, a none-too-bright anchorman whose dominance of the airwaves is about to be undermined by the emergence of feminism, in the form of Christina Applegate’s over-ambitious reporter, Veronica Corningstone.

Far from being equipped to deal with a winner-takes-all battle of the sexes, however, Ron finds himself increasingly burdened by his own ineptitude, as well as the testosterone-fuelled antics of his news-team - a mentally-challenged bunch of misfits who are equally as under-prepared for the presence of a woman.

Following hot-on-the-heels of the equally stupid Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Anchorman is another of those comedies that succeeds in putting a big soppy grin on your face in spite of any misgivings you may have about the story.

It knows it’s a one-joke movie, yet succeeds in milking it for all it’s worth thanks to the winning charisma of its central performer, and his uncanny ability to make the most absurd situation seem extremely funny.

Hence, whether he is having a conversation with his pet dog, throwing burritos at passing bikers (a hilarious cameo from Jack Black), or attempting to woo and win women with crass pull-lines such as ‘your heinie is breathtaking, I want to be friends with it’, Ferrell is, once again, on mesmerising form.

What’s more, he is ably supported by his moronic news buddies, especially Steve Carell’s hopelessly retarded weatherman, who comes close to stealing just about every sequence he is in (just as he did in Bruce Almighty), and Paul (Friends) Rudd’s egotistical ladies-man, who continually finds his ego deflated by his brush manner with the opposite sex.

Applegate, too, emerges with credit, providing an able sparring partner for Burgundy, who is equally as adept at getting down and dirty to secure the prized anchorman position for her own, as she is at tugging at his heart-strings.

With all this in mind, however, it is worth pointing out that the film does tend to sag during its middle section, when the joke feels stretched and Ferrell’s ego goes into overdrive, thereby missing out on becoming a comedy classic.

Had he reigned himself in, the film might have been given a little more space to explore new territory, instead of feeling like a series of sketches from Ferrell’s own Saturday Night Live bag of tricks - it’s little wonder to find that he co-wrote the film with director, Adam McKay, another veteran of the SNL troupe.

But for anyone willing to forgive the occasional lapse, Anchorman offers plenty to ease away the strains of everyday life, not least in the inspired use of cameos and the hilarious out-takes, which bring the movie to a suitably satisfying finale.

For once, tuning into the news is not just about the bad things in life.

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