Saturday, July 10, 2004

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
The Review by Sombrero Grande

This just in: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is funny--really, REALLY funny. If you like your humor served with a heaping portion of silliness, you have NO legitimate excuse not to immediately run out to see this film. It’s perhaps the most consistently funny film I’ve seen in several years with a surprisingly high laugh-to-minute ratio. Even the “musical” scene where Ron Burgundy plays jazz flute ended up having quite a few funny moments. So often when a comedy breaks for a musical moment, the humor seems to step outside for a cigarette break (I’m looking in your direction, Mel Brooks), but here the scene was actually clever and funny.

Now, when I say “silliness” I mean this movie has an extremely tenuous grasp on reality. The spontaneous street fight between the rival news teams or the dog who supposedly barks in Spanish and somehow pooped in the refrigerator should set off immediate signals that the gags rely heavily on silliness and non sequiturs, which, speaking as a fan of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, is quite all right by me.

The performances were very nice all around, with the only disappointment being Luke Wilson who came across rather bland and disinterested. It feels like his heart just wasn’t in it and perhaps he only accepted the role to hang out with his Old School buddies, Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn, again. Ferrell and the rest were all great, but the true standout was Steve Carell who not only stole every scene he was in as the mentally-deficient weatherman but I’d go so far as to say he stole every frame of film he was in. It got to the point where all he had to do was stand there and stare off into space smiling and I’d start howling with laughter.

One thing I’d like to point out is that, as a San Diegan, I was particularly pleased that “America’s Finest City” played such a prominent role in the film. With so many movies set in L.A. or New York it’s really refreshing to see shots filmed in and around the Coronado Bridge, the Star of India, Balboa Park and downtown San Diego. The last film I can recall that had much of anything to do with San Diego was The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Now, finally, the beautiful city I call home gets a starring role in a GOOD movie.

I was initially worried that Anchorman would turn out to be one of those movies where the trailer spoils all the jokes. I mean, the trailers for Anchorman are hilarious...almost too hilarious. I’d gotten badly burned by trailers in the past that made crappy comedies look great, but thankfully such is not the case for Anchorman. In fact, I’d estimate that about half of the material in the trailers comes from alternate takes and moments that aren’t even in the film (meaning there could be a wealth of hilarious deleted scenes to peruse on the DVD release), leaving room for lots of funny, new material.

So…what are you waiting for? It’s not every day (or even every year) we get a new comedy that’s as funny as Anchorman. Grab yourself a tall glass of scotch, put on a fake Tom Selleck mustache and enjoy.


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