#1 NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby stays atop the heap thanks to a pact with his best friend and teammate, Cal Naughton, Jr. But when a French Formula One driver, makes his way up the ladder, Ricky Bobby's talent and devotion are put to the test.
John C. Reilly,
Sacha Baron Cohen
This "alternate film" companion to Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) was compiled from dropped sub-plots and alternate takes. While Ron Burgundy's rivalry with Veronica Corningstone continues, a group of unprofessional thieves better known as 'The Alarm Clock' try to make the truth known, whatever that may be. Written by
Wake up, Ron Burgundy is allegedly made of deleted scenes from Anchorman, but while it's obvious how some scenes fit into the movie such as Ron's dangerous driving here leading to the parking scene in Anchorman, there's no way most of this would have ever fit. I assume a lot of last-minute re-shoots were involved.
Some elements work. The Alarm Clock gang is hilarious. They are a group with political goals, but seem unclear on what they are and lack any sort of grand plan. The bit with Amy Poehler as a bank teller who refuses to give them any money because they are so inept as bank robbers is one of the best in the movie. Justin Long as Ed's sullen teenage son, Chris, and Chad Everett as Jess Moondragon, Ron's mentor who won't shut up about how inappropriately he loves nature, also have some very memorable bits. Note that none of these (fairly significant) characters are in Anchorman.
Unfortunately, the movie is just a series of bits. It doesn't really come together. To some degree, this is to be expected in a movie assembled from deleted scenes, but it's more than that. The jokes get too much narrative priority, often leading to things that just don't fit in the context of the movie. Veronica Corningstone's personality is all over the place and Champ King's moment in the car goes on way too long, even though it starts well, for instance. This really hurts suspension of disbelief as it never really establishes any rules to play by.
This is a serious problem, but I'm giving the movie a 6 anyway, mainly because it made me laugh so hard I nearly vomited on several occasions, like when Brick explained what he was eating or any of Paul's attempts to explain the manifesto. In short, this is a great way to present deleted scenes. It isn't a great movie.
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