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Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy - Film Review

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by Chrystal Byrne (subscribe)
Freelance writer living on Brisbane's north side. Studied creative industries - currently studying library and information services.
Published August 29th 2013
See it before the sequel hits cinemas
Ron Burgundy is a legend. With his perfect 1970s hair and tailored suits, Ron (Will Ferrell) recites the local San Diego news at 6pm every night, along with the rest of the testosterone-fuelled Channel 4 News Team: lead field reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), sports-caster Champion 'Champ' Kind (David Koechner) and mentally-challenged chief meteorologist, Brick Tamland (Steve Carell). Ron has it all – anchorman of the highest-rated news program in San Diego (a long-standing title), the loyal friends of his news team, women clamouring to be with him, and a close caring relationship with his dog, Baxter.

But then something happens that sparks a chain of bad happenings and suddenly Ron's world – the world dominated by Ron Burgundy himself – is cracked and twisted and on the verge of shattering completely.

While attending a wild party with his news team buddies, Ron sights a sophisticated blonde 'from across the party' and tries to work his sexist clichι moves on her. The stylish woman rebuffs him; something that Ron is very unused to; reducing him to stutters as she walks away. The next morning, an announcement is made that sends Ron and the Channel 4 News Team into a spin – Miss Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate); the classy lady from the previous night's social gathering; is both new to town and the newest member of the all-male news team.

Ron and his trusty trio are shocked, angry and appalled – but quickly 'make a game' of the situation. In speedy succession Champ, Brian and Brick all try and fail to woo Veronica – leaving it up to Ron to 'win' Veronica over and, presumably, take her out of the news team. Ron, focusing on his former failure, tricks Veronica into a date – successfully setting himself up for further sorrow.

Anchorman (2004) promotional poster - from Wikipedia.

Without completely spoiling the story (that is, if you somehow haven't seen this pop-culture icon of a film), here's the rundown of Ron Burgundy's sequence of bad luck; his 'fall from grace', if you will; set in motion by the refusal of chic Veronica Corningstone.

Ron unsuccessfully tries to 'pick up' Miss Veronica Corningstone (unnamed/unknown to him at the time).
Miss Veronica Corningstone becomes fifth member of the Channel 4 News Team.
After a series of inept attempts by the team to seduce her, Veronica finally relents to a date with Ron, culminating in a sexual relationship.
Ron announces his relationship with Veronica on air – despite agreeing to keep the matter discreet.
Ron spends an increasing amount of time with Veronica – much to the dismay of Champ, Brian and Brick.
Ron is involved in a dispute with a motorcyclist (played by none other than Jack Black), ending with his beloved dog Baxter being punted off the San Diego-Coronado Bridge.
After the aforementioned dispute; hysterical and insensible; Ron fails to present himself to deliver the news.
Left with no other option, Station Director Edward 'Ed' Harken (Fred Willard) allows Veronica to fill-in for Ron.
Ron charges into work as the news finishes, dishevelled and frenzied.
Upon learning that Veronica 'read his news', Ron snaps and the couple break-up.
Veronica is made co-anchor – to the disgust of the team – and the two co-anchors become fierce rivals, both on and off the air.
Ron and his news team (minus Veronica of course) get themselves embroiled in a violent confrontation involving multiple news teams, broken up only by police sirens.
Returning to the studio, Ron starts another heated argument with Veronica, culminating in a physical fight after she insults his hair.
Veronica learns that Ron 'reads anything written on the teleprompter', so she sneaks into the station and changes his words.
The following night, Ron (oblivious to what he is saying) concludes his broadcast with, "Go fuck yourself, San Diego".
Ron is fired.
Ron becomes unemployed, friendless, and heavily antagonised by the public.

There you have it, the documented (dramatised) series of events closing with the legendary Ron Burgundy's tumble into obscurity – but that isn't the end of the movie.

Can the birth of a baby panda get Ron Burgundy his job, news team/friends, woman, dog and legendary status back?

Why yes, it can.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) DVD.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) was directed by Adam McKay and written by the duo Adam McKay and Will Ferrell. The film stars Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy, Christina Applegate as Veronica Corningstone, Paul Rudd as Brian Fantana, Steve Carell as Brick Tamland and David Koechner as Champ Kind. Anchorman, as it's commonly referred to, also features a number of renowned comics in smaller roles; Vince Vaughn as rival news anchor Wes Mantooth, Ben Stiller as another rival news anchor, Jack Black as the vengeful motorcycle rider (involved in THAT dog-kicking scene); as well as Seth Rogen, Luke Wilson and Kathryn Hahn.

Anchorman is a whirlwind of quirky random humour. With off-beat one-liners (and let's face it, this film is full of them), overdone stereotypical (and strange when you really think about it) characters and a fun storyline – this nonsensical comedy is not meant to be taken seriously. Although Ron Burgundy is ignorant, egotistical, misogynistic, chauvinistic and narcissistic; amongst a good many other things (like deluded and ridiculous); Ferrell still manages to portray him with some humanity and feeling, giving viewers cause for likeability. Ron and his news team, along with Miss Veronica Corningstone, are amusing to watch – which I guess is the reason why Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, is slated for release in December this year.

Anchorman 2
Anchorman 2 promotional teaser poster - from Wikipedia.

Quotable/Memorable Anchorman One-Liners:

"I love lamp" – Brick Tamland
"You know I don't speak Spanish" – Ron Burgundy
"Don't act like you're not impressed" – Ron Burgundy
"What? You pooped in the refrigerator? And you ate the whole wheel of cheese? How'd you do that? Heck, I'm not even mad; that's amazing" – Ron Burgundy
"It is anchorman, not anchorlady, and that is a scientific fact" – Champ Kind
"You look like a blueberry" – Veronia Corningstone
"I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany" – Ron Burgundy
"I immediately regret this decision" – Ron Burgundy
"Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it San Diego, which of course in German means 'a whale's vagina'" – Ron Burgundy
"You are a smelly pirate hooker. Why don't you go back to your home on Whore Island?" – Ron Burgundy

The Channel 4 News Team.

If you haven't seen Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, although I have no idea how that is possible, now's your chance – do it before the sequel hits the big screen. Do it before a whole new bunch of crazy one-liners become part of pop-culture references. If you have seen it, then see it again. Refresh your memory on 'the legend' before the story expands. I mean hey, it is a funny film – just don't take it too seriously.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) trailer.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) promotional teaser trailer.
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Why? See it before the sequel hits cinemas.
When: Now.
Where: Rent, borrow or buy the DVD.
Cost: The cost to rent/buy the DVD.
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