Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
The outrageous humor in this spoof on television newscasts plays like a Saturday Night Live skit. It’s set in the ’70s, when women were barely visible in TV newsrooms. Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), conceited and chauvinistic anchorman for the top-rated San Diego station, is threatened by the arrival of feminist Veronica Cornerstone (Christina Applegate) but assumes that he will sweep her off of her feet with his charm and good looks. Veronica quickly asserts herself and becomes the local sensation, creating a war in the newsroom as the guys behave like petulant children seeking revenge against Veronica. Another ongoing war continues as reporters from competing stations converge to report on the biggest news story of the year — the birth of a panda at the zoo — and a hilarious battle erupts. Anchorman’s humor may tickle the funny bones of adults who remember the leisure suits, big hair and white shoes of the ’70s, but it’s definitely not appropriate for children.
“Anchorman’s” humor is often crude and mean-spirited, using sex, drunkenness and violence to provoke laughter. Ron drinks scotch all day, up until he goes on camera, and reads whatever appears on the prompter, even when Veronica edits the text to include the f-word. References to male and female anatomy, plus evidence of Ron’s sexual arousal, are shocking and offensive for a PG-13 rating. In two violent confrontations among competing stations, reporters use chains, bats, knives and guns in a battle that includes a man being set on fire, another dragged by a horse and another having his arm cut off. A biker throws Ron’s beloved dog, Baxter, off a bridge into the bay. Bad language adds to the negative content of the film.