With the release of Will Ferrell's new comedy, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, this summer is officially a good one for comedy. Sure, White Chicks is a blemish on this summer's comedic report card, but Mean Girls, Dodgeball and Anchorman are all solid comedic films, even if they're far from perfect.
Ferrell stars as the sexist, popular, needy Ron Burgundy, the anchorman at San Diego's #1 news station in 1970s San Diego. Burgundy and his news team -- comprised of Paul Rudd, The Daily Show's Steven Carell and David Koechner -- are threatened by a new female worker, Christina Applegate's Veronica Corningstone, who works her way up to lead female anchor.
Ferrell and his cast's antics are often hilarious, although inconsistent. A lot of the film's humor relies on the random thoughts of the cast, and when the movie hits its mark, it's fantastic, but there are also times when the cast members make one too many references to 'poo' or some other cheap, childish gag.
The film features many cameos from the stars of Hollywood's leading comedic team who put together the aforementioned Dodgeball as well as Old School. Some of the cameos are pitch-perfect, like Jack Black's motorcycle accident victim, whereas others, like Ben Stiller's Spanish news anchor, are merely casting stunts done for the sake of casting a big name.
The main cast of the film is solid throughout. Ferrell has Burgundy nailed, never wavering in his portrayal of the man who would be despised if he weren't so damn funny. Applegate shouldn't leave her current job to be a comedian, but she manages to stay out of the way of Ferrell and the more zanier characters. Carell, used to playing the smartass on The Daily Show, shines as the slow, dim-witted weatherman. Rudd energizes the film as the arrogant Brian Fantana while David Koechner never really settles on an approach as the sometimes tough, sometimes gay sports anchor.
Much like last month's Dodgeball, Anchorman assembles an all-star cast that never fully realizes its all-star potential. Still, the people involved are so talented that Anchorman can't help but produce laughs. It's not a classic, but in a summer of solid comedies, Anchorman claims its spot at the top of the mountain.