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With Will Ferrell appearing in every single movie ever these days, can he pull off a lead role? The answer is yes... though I wish he had found some better co-stars.
Throughout "Anchorman" there are a lot of things I wish would have been different. For one, this is the first feature film from ex-"SNL" writer Adam McKay. Perhaps this is why when a joke fails, it really fails with that "SNL" vibe. Not to mention the sight gags (I.e.: missing limbs, flailing dummies) don't always work (though, that's not to say they don't work at all).
Now, this is not to mean that the movie is not funny. As a matter of fact, if you really, really like Will Ferrell, than you will probably think this is the best comedy all year. If you think Ferrell is completely devoid of any humor whatsoever... than this is certainly not going to win you over. And, though, Ferrell is funny, its his co-stars that drop the ball. David Koechner is really the best one with Paul Rudd and Steven Carell (of "The Daily Show") just acting, well, stupid. While Paul Rudd is not really known for his comedy, I was dissapointed that Carell didn't get a few more laughs.
When it comes down to it, this is the type of movie that when a joke works, it works really, really well and will have you laughing for a long time. Unfortunately, when a joke fails, it sits there for a long time, steaming in its un-funny awfulness, sometimes going on for entirely too long, bringing the entire picture to a complete halt. After seeing a film like "Dodgeball" (still the best comedy this year), I can't really go for these jokes that fail miserably.
Luckily for "Anchorman," it will receive a "Thumbs Up" simply because I liked maybe 51% of it. It just made it, which is kind of dissapointing all in itself. To be fair though, the cameos in this one are absolutely hillarious (especially Jack Black).
**1/2 out of ****
Also, if you can, I suggest you go for a later showing. Earlier ones attract the younger kids, and trust me when I say, they know every single line from the trailer and will be repeating it en masse.
Will Ferrell's ability to deliver dialogue, no matter how crazy, with a straight face has always been able to make me laugh. This movie had me laughing harder than I have for quite some time. This isn't, however, classy comedy, this is very low brow stuff. But it is Ferrell who makes this movie what it is - - hilarious.
Will plays Ron Burgandy, an anchorman in the 70's whose at the top of his game. He falls in love with the new gal at the office (Christina Applegate in a so-so performance), who will eventually become his co-anchor. The men in the office start an uproar, for surely a woman can't deliever the news. And always ... comedy ensues.
The supporting cast, most notably Steve Carrel, is perfect, with the exception of Applegate who just seems to be reading the script, or maybe she's just overshadowed by the natural comedy skills of the rest of the cast.
Overall there isn't much to say about this movie, other than it's really fun. If you're a fan of Ferrel this flick should keep at least a smile on your face the entire time, if you're not in stitches (I actually laughed until I cried at this movie, which is a rare thing). Some jokes fall a little flat, but there is always another one right around the corner to get you laughing, not to mention numerous cameos I certainly wasn't expecting.
But like I said, this isn't an art house comedy, it is ninety silly minutes. And I'd say I enjoyed at least 89 of them.
**** (out of 5) GQ
Jesus Christ Timmy! Do not float above me while I'm dying in the abyss!