Look, up in the TV! Who reads faster
than a speeding teleprompter? Whose diction is more powerful than
an elocution coach? It's a bird! It's a plane! It's
Yes, it's time for another Will Ferrell movie.
Now, for some of you, this is a good thing. A great thing.
In fact, for some readers, this could be the highlight of your month.
There are people who think that Will Ferrell is absolutely hilarious.
They loved him in Old School ("You're my BOY, Blue!"), and even
more people who found his over-sized boyish charms irresistible in
Elf (2003). He's also appeared in Jay and Silent Bob Strike
Back (2001), Zoolander (2001), Superstar (1999). and
A Night at the Roxbury (1998), and there are people who loved him in
each of those films (as well as many others). Not only that, some
people even loved his recurring characters on "Saturday Night Live",
including the cheerleading guy.
There are others, of course, who aren't big fans of Will Ferrell.
Perhaps you saw his appearances on "SNL" and thought of him as a dorky
goofball (or, perhaps a goofy dorkball). Maybe you didn't even
need to see him on TV, just the fact that he's a post-1975 alumnus of
that show is enough to make you stay away from his movies at all costs.
Here's the sad fact about Anchorman: at times, it's funny.
Really funny. There are some honest-to-goodness greatly funny
moments in the film. The Masked Reviewer is embarrassed to admit
it, but it's true. The same could be said for Elf, which
did well at the box office, but Anchorman is quite a bit funnier.
That's not to say that everything in his movie is hilarious.
Will Ferrell commits to his roles like a rabid monkey; he digs in, grabs
on, and won't let go. The primary source of humor in this movie is
the newsman character he creates, Ron Burgandy. He's pretentious,
vain, a chauvinist, and a simpleton...but deep down, he's a nice guy.
The performance is filled with hammy, repetitive, over-acting.
But, you know...Will Ferrell somehow manages to pull it off.
There's no self-consciousness in his acting, he just goes for it and
lets everything hang out, and it has a certain charm that, if you aren't
a big fan of his, tends to grow on you.
There are some amusing bits in the beginning of the film, but a lot of
the over-the-top stuff might have you sighing and wondering why you're
in this movie. Over time, though, he gets to all but the most
hardened movie goers. He's like a spicy burrito...the first bite,
maybe you don't feel that kick. But slowly, it creeps up on you,
until you're running around, dying to take a big drink of laughter from
a cup of merriment. Perhaps that's not the best analogy in the
world, but you get the idea.
For the most part, the supporting performances are fine. David
Koechner ("SNL", My Boss's Daughter), Fred Willard (A Mighty
Wind,Best in Show), Kristina Applegate ("Married with Children",
Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead), and Paul Rudd
(...he must have done something...) all are fine, and each have a
few funny moments, though they're primarily trampolines for Will Ferrell
to bounce off of.
The highlight of the film's performances is undoubtedly Steve Carell
("The Daily Show"). Steve Carell has made a career out of being a
fake newscaster, with a hilarious appearance in Bruce Almighty as
Bruce's tortured rival. In this one, he plays an idiot, but plays
it to perfection. Almost every single line is hilarious, and Steve
Carell steals just about every scene he's in. If you love Steve
Carell, he's worth the price of admission.
The second highlight is the great cameos in the film.
There are several, and they're relatively brief, but perfectly cast and
wonderfully funny. The Masked Reviewer doesn't give away any
spoilers, but suffice it to say...they're good!
And, let's not forget the appearance of Baxter, the dog. If
you're wondering what kind of dog breed Baxter is, he looks like a
Wheaton Terrier. Maybe. The Masked Reviewer isn't sure, but
Baxter gave a great dog performance. Two paws up.
The movie was co-written by Will Ferrell and former "SNL" writer,
Adam McKay, who also directed the movie. He did a fine job...he's
no Jon Favreau (who directed Elf and appeared in Daredevil),
but who the hell is? (That is, who the hell is Jon Favreau?)
Anchorman is undeniably sophomoric, but it's likeable. For fans of Will
Ferrell, this could be your favorite of his films. For non-fans,
even people who absolutely loathe him will find some great laughs in
Expectation from the Title: The story of the slowest, heaviest
hero, able to stop a boat in a single bound. It's a bird!
It's a plane! It's a heavy iron thing on a chain.
Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):
Will Ferrell gives 110% and it's nice to see a young man giving that
The Pros: Steve Carell is priceless; the cameos are great;
Will Ferrell grows on you and has some very funny moments.
The Cons: It's kind of dumb, but eventually it overpowers you
and forces you to like it. It's kind of uneven, but overall worthwhile.