His news is bigger than your news.
Running Time: 94 minutes
US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12a
Country: United States
If you dont like Will Ferrell, now would probably be a pretty good time to move to a big secluded cabin in the woods and cut yourself off from all known mass media. Anchorman, you see, is only the tip of the ice-berg because between now and the end of 2005 hes due to appear in another TWELVE movies. To put some sort of perspective on things, thats almost double the number of Police Academy films ever made and, as someone who spent the bulk of the mid-late 80s hiding in the woods from Steve Guttenberg, I know only too well that thats a LOT of movies.
Thankfully, its unlikely that too many people will need to take that particular piece of advice. Ferrell is, after all, a marvellous comic talent (he won me over last year with Elf, the best live-action comedy of 2003 and a piece of work Im willing to wager hell never better) and Anchorman is, after a bit of a slow start, a very good comedy. Frankly put, if you dont take the time to catch the man at work, youre missing out on catching one of the best funnymen in cinema today.
Here he plays title character Ron Burgundy, the all-conquering anchorman of San Diegos number one morning news programme. Flanked by marvellously-named team-mates Brian Fantana, Brick Tamland and Champ Kind (Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and David Koechner), Burgundy is the undisputed king of news-reading in the region. But theres a problem: its the 70s, which means its time to diversify and, much to our heros chagrin (and confusion), thats not a word meaning a type of large wooden boat. So onto the team comes pretty, blonde and hyper-ambitious lady-journo Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) and before long it looks like the boys fun is hurtling to an end.
If you like your comedy served low-key but high-brow then dive for cover, because Anchorman is loud, totally ridiculous and more often than not it doesnt make any sense whatsoever. Of course, given that the rest of the cast includes Ferrells regular partners-in-crime Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller and Luke Wilson – along with Jack Black thrown in for good measure that probably wont come as too much of a surprise to anyone. But Anchorman takes the sort of humour youd normally expect from that particular gang and cranks it up a notch as a case in point, a mega-violent (and completely silly) street-fighting scene between rival news crews that results in near-total blood-shed. By way of comparison, its much wilder and also significantly funnier than Dodgeball, Messrs Stiller and Vaughns release from a few weeks earlier.
Its a comedy that takes its time to warm up but, once its all over and done with, Ferrell leaves us wanting more and, going by his upcoming schedule, thats exactly what were going to get.
It's Got: A glorious musical interlude, a drop-kicked pooch, and plenty of non-regional diction.
It Needs: Owen Wilson. Where is he? All of his pals are here, after all.
Definitely weird and very nearly wonderful and youll never look at your local newsreader in the same way again.