So… we’re back.
In keeping it light, I want to touch upon one of my favorite comic fight scenes, the newsman battle in ANCHORMAN, THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY.
What’s interesting about this, one might note, is that Vince Vaughn isn’t even the primary antagonist of the film, he’s more of a subplot, if that (but I will add that this is one of my favorite Vaughn performances, right down to where he runs away at the end of the second clip)… the story of the movie is the battle between Burgundy and Christina Appelgate, as it were… and when this fight happens, Burgundy and his team are off to buy suits.
When they run into Vaughn and his buddies, and a few other of the local anchors.
So it really doesn’t have much to do with the story of the movie… except, when you think about it, it has everything to do with the THEME of the movie… the idea of the film is that 70s news anchors were nothing but immature juveniles, men who won’t grow up, and that’s what this fight scene is about, it’s about boy gangs fighting each other, only they’re news anchors, and that’s what makes this scene brilliant. It’s right out of West Side Story (complete with the music at the end and how they scatter)… boys fighting and dying over turf.
We have the wonderful Planet of the Apes reference right in the middle, too. It’s a great scene, and the lesson here is, it’s not enough to only be funny, it has to illuminate the idea being explored for it to be successful. That’s what separates this scene (and movie) from other comedies with scattershot pop culture references… they explored an idea here, and it works. And remember, this is before people really knew who Steve Carell was, as well.
Trivia… Will got the idea and title from PORN STAR, THE LEGEND OF RON JEREMY, the documentary on the famous fat porn star (which is an interesting doc, if you haven’t seen it).