In Review: Anchorman (2004) at Pop Up Screens

By Ali Lalji

So, what is there left to say about Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy? It’s been seven years since its theatrical release and now only one question remains: “Does it hold up to the standard of memorable comedies after all this time?”

As one attends Pop Up Screens’ open air event in Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith to watch this terribly funny film, you cannot help but notice the ambience of popcorn, beer and South African game burger caravans. As you choose from Springbok, wildebeest or ostrich burger whilst viewing the film, you may think open air cinema has taken its toll. But ask yourself, would you rather watch a Shakespeare play in an open air theatre or an open air film? Imagine sitting on the moist grass, having a brisk breeze blow against you and enjoying it with a multitude of Anchorman fans on a huge inflatable screen. The result? “Classy. We stay real classy.”

The film is notable for opening the doors for many of its actors into A-List territory. Steve Carell, who plays dim-witted weather man Brick Tamland, is hysterical, with his wide-open and spaced out eyes, that he deserved the opportunity to play The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005). And let us not forget about Paul Rudd as Brian Fantana. Rudd plays the arrogant reporter to a hilarious standard, and when we see him try on that ‘Sex Panther’ cologne one would love to see for themselves how “pungent” it really is or whether it actually does smell like “Bigfoot’s dick”. The man has truly proven himself an asset to the ‘Frat Pack’, be it cameos in Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) or the true essence of leading material in Role Models (2008).

Most essentially, the main note of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy must go to Mr. Ferrell himself in the title role. His comic timing and offbeat humour is flawless, and his combination of sleaze, pizzazz and pathos is like a mad science experiment gone right. Adding to this, Burgundy’s interaction with Christina Applegate’s Veronica Corningstone is the epitome of comedy. Their love/hate relationship is akin to a modern day take on Benedick and Beatrice from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

The plot is simple: a number one rated news channel enjoys the smell of success in a man’s world. However, when a female news reporter is employed as the co-anchor to work alongside Ron Burgundy, the battles of the sexes commences. Ron and Veronica are at each others’ throats and the obvious question is ‘will they or won’t they’? The theme of changing attitudes about women in the 1970’s is discreetly hidden for the audience to peruse, but it’s really just a great comedy. So sit back, relax and re-watch this amazing film. You must trust that it improves with repeated viewing.

Aly has awarded Anchorman four Torches of Truth

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2 responses to “In Review: Anchorman (2004) at Pop Up Screens

  1. What is there left to say about features that begin with “What is there left to say”? Surely the laziest of intros. I hope I’ve never done it, must check. Apart from that gripe (seriously, I’ve seen it in two other articles this week, diff. sites) I agree completely that Anchorman is hilarious. This one goes down smooth!

  2. Can’t argue with anything said here – for me, Anchorman ranks alongside The Naked Gun as a film I can watch as often as I want and laugh at just as much as I did on any previous occasion. So many quotable lines too!

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