Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy demonstrates to staggering effect precisely how big actor/writer Will Ferrell is. He can appear in anything, no matter its quality, and people will love it. This picture was by far the worst thing I’ve put in my DVD player since I endured Gods and Generals almost 2½ years ago. At least Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo had a couple of funny moments in it.

Despite being produced by Judd Apatow, of whom I am a fan (for Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared), Anchorman starts out bad and continues on a downhill slide. We follow the exploits of Ron Burgundy, a horrifically unfunny caricature of an astonishingly unlikeable broadcast TV anchorman in the early 70s, and his news team as they come to terms with the fact that the station has hired a new female journalist, played by Christina Applegate, who has ambitions toward the anchor desk. Somehow, she, purportedly street-smart from enduring the prevailing sexist attitudes of the day, is duped into falling in love with Ron in what has to be the least realistic love interest of all time.

The scene in the restaurant in which Ron gets up and pretends to play jazz flute was particularly grating—it took every ounce of my willpower not to throw something at the screen—and the gang war between competing news teams set a new low in an endless barrage of ridiculously unrealistic and increasingly insipid fight sequences in recent movies. As a comedy designed to make fun of the sexist attitudes of the 70s, this one falls flat. For protagonists, this motley bunch of pathetic clowns is absolutely detestable.

The screenplay is bungling and utterly incompetent. I could stand on top of a building and, using only my own urine, piss a better screenplay in the snow. This spectacularly bad film is an endurance event—you keep waiting for it to get funny for more than a second, but your wait is in vain. Despite an all-star cast, this movie is an all-star turd.

My score: F.


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