Heroes of the Zeroes is Nick Rogers’ daily, alphabetical look back at the 365 best films of 2000 to 2009.
Dorothy Mantooth is a saint. The arsonist has oddly shaped feet. Bilingual bloodfests between news anchors can escalate quickly. Brick Tamland loves lamp. And studies have proven that 60 percent of time, Sex Panther cologne works every time.
If that doesn’t make sense, millions of quote-happy fans of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy envy your first foray into 94 minutes of aggressively silly, insidiously hilarious comedy. Never has a film that is, for all practical purposes, related skits strung together been as sidesplitting as this. (Wake Up, Ron Burgundy, an entirely separate feature-length film culled from alternate footage, wasn’t nearly as funny.)
Much as Steve Carell — excellent here as empty-headed weatherman Brick, who really enjoys a nice pair of slacks — did after The 40-Year-Old Virgin, this film’s main star, Will Ferrell, entered a depressing downward spiral afterward. But this proved Ferrell’s pièce de résistance.
His buffoonery as Ron Burgundy, a top-dog anchorman whose bloviating backfires on him, is believable because it’s a character, not a caricature. Ditto for Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Christina Applegate as fellow action-news teamers.
Narratively, it makes A Night at the Roxbury look like Memento. But the surreal go-for-broke inventiveness in this parody of television news, sexual politics and Burt Reynolds movies never lets up — loaded with peppy, non sequitur catchphrases (“Uncle Jonathan’s corn-cob pipe!”) and splendid side-trips into absurdity (aka “Pleasure Town”). This 2004 film now finds itself deserving of mention in the same breath as beloved 1980s comedy classics.
Oh, and, of course, “San Diego” in German means “the whale’s vagina.”