Will Ferrell His Five Best and Five Worst Movies
Will Ferrell has a new movie on Netflix and that inspired a look at his best and worst.
I remember a time in my life when Will Ferrell was funny… I think. No, I am pretty sure it happened. It’s been a while, but I am almost certain that Will Ferrell was funny once during my lifetime. I think my memory is clouded because the last several times I have seen Will Ferrell on the big screen it has been astonishingly unpleasant. Movies like The House, Holmes and Watson and 2020’s Downhill are movies so bad that they’ve almost entirely obscured what I used to enjoy about Will Ferrell.
This article will hopefully act as a refresher and a catharsis. Below I will attempt to honor the Will Ferrell I am sure that I once enjoyed and exorcise the demons of the Will Ferrell who has been the bane of my movie going experience of late. These are the 5 Best and 5 Worst Movies of Will Ferrell’s career.
For clarity’s sake, I will mention that as this is written, I have not yet seen Will Ferrell’s new Netflix movie EuroVision: A Song of Ice and Fire Saga.
5th Best: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
Bloated and desperately long, Anchorman 2 has a lot of issues but because Ron Burgundy and his news team are so much fun, it’s easy to overlook that Anchorman 2 The Legend Continues has no business being more than 2 hours long.
5th Worst: Downhill
Where to begin here? Downhill is not a movie that ever should have been made. Force Majeure is twisty and edgy and exploits the spiky dynamic of a husband and wife desperately at odds. Downhill renders the same premise as a dreary sitcom.
4th Best Everything Must Go and Stranger than Fiction:
I’m cheating here, a little, admittedly, but since Will Ferrell so rarely plays dramatic, I feel justified in taking his most genuine, non-comedy performances and wrapping them together. Both films tap Ferrell’s underappreciated every-man quality and in each film Ferrell shows a talent for soulful romantic longing and unfulfilled dreaming that he's never able to tap in his comedic performances.
4th Worst: Daddy’s Home 1 & 2
Since the last entry sort of broke the rules a little, why not do it once more to account for the commercial horror that is both Daddy’s Home movies. Toxic masculinity sweats from both of these movies nearly as much as the no-homo gags constantly at the expense of Ferrell’s people pleasing loser character. Add to that awful mix the noxious presence of Mel Gibson and I wonder why I didn't place these movies higher on this list.
3rd Best: The Other Guys
The simplicity of the premise of The Other Guys is why it succeeds so well. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg may have tainted my memory of them as a duo with the Daddy’s Home atrocities, but the simple cleverness of The Other Guys remains a highlight of Ferrell’s career.
3rd Worst: The House
The House is an exhaustively unfunny movie that appears to have had no script. Instead, Will Ferrell and co-star Amy Poehler were apparently instructed to scream and flail about and try a million different jokes in hope one might actually be funny. That there are no laughs in The House likely comes down to the worst of the film being so prevalent and overwhelming that nothing funny could escape from the detritus.
2nd Best: Megamind
Megamind is another example of a Will Ferrell movie where the simplicity of the premise is what succeeds as much as anything else. Megamind starts with the smart premise of what would happen if a Super Villain actually defeated the hero and spins out a tale of redemption that is funny and, for kids, inspiring, in it’s message about selfishness and becoming empathetic and generous.
2nd Worst: Get Hard
You know how I mentioned the gross no-homo gags of Daddy’s Home? Get Hard is nothing but no-homo gags from beginning to end. The ugly stereotypes about the forced homosexuality of our prison system are intended to be a laugh riot instead of a complete horror and I don’t know how anyone involved with the making of this movie can live with themselves.
1st Best: Anchorman The Legend of Ron Burgundy
What else could possibly be Will Ferrell’s best movie? Old School? He’s only a supporting player and it’s mostly him just screeching and streaking. No, Anchorman The Legend of Ron Burgundy is the only possible choice for Will Ferrell’s best. Anchorman The Legend of Ron Burgundy is the one film in Will Ferrell’s entire career that truly captured Ferrell’s humor at its best. Every joke seems to land perfectly in Anchorman. Ferrell’s performance is perfectly at home with no sweaty desperation, no wildly searching for gags, just a series of assured, and hysterical laughs from beginning to end. It’s undoubtedly the best cast Ferrell has ever had with him on screen and his willingness to share the spotlight with them is smart, it takes the pressure off of Ferrell and prevents him from falling back on his usual shtick of flailing about searching for jokes.
1st Worst: Holmes and Watson
I considered putting Step Brothers on this list as I am among those who find that film grating and charmless. Holmes and Watson however, is so atrocious it makes Step Brothers appear like a much better movie. Holmes and Watson is where comedy goes to die. The movie is a black hole of humor sucking in any joy and allowing nothing to escape. If you told me that Holmes and Watson was somehow retroactively responsible for the deaths of my childhood pets I would not be surprised and I likely couldn’t find any more hate than I already have for this movie.