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Will Ferrell: The Best and The Worst

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Will Ferrell in The Other Guys
Will Ferrell in The Other Guys

With his latest film, The Other Guys, hitting theaters this week, it’s time to take a look back at Will Ferrell’s film career and pick the top three performances of his career…so far.

To balance the best, it’s also good to list a few of the not-so-good films that even Ferrell probably doesn’t want to remember having been in.

The Best of Will Ferrell

1)      Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Sweet Lincoln’s mullet! With a cheesy moustache that would make a porn actor proud, Ferrell is downright hilarious as the pompous – and clueless – anchor of a San Diego news station. He’s surrounded by some of film comedy’s best – from Paul Rudd to Steve Carell — but it’s Ferrell who makes the film worth watching over and over again.

2)      Elf. There are very few comedians who can play one of Santa’s assistants and make you not only laugh, but feel full of holiday cheer. Sure, it’s a one note comedy – Ferrell is a human-sized Elf who discovers he’s really a human — but he plays it with such total commitment that you just have to laugh.

3)      Stranger than Fiction. Playing an IRS auditor who is haunted by a narrative voice that only he can hear was a huge risk for Ferrell, and the cool reception the film got is proof that not too many of his fans were willing to follow along. But his performance in this underappreciated gem is among his best because of the way he seamlessly blends the comedy and the drama.

 

 The Worst of Will Ferrell

 

1)      Land of the Lost. Everything about this re-visioning of the campy 70s kid show is awful, from the script to the cast to the not-so-special effects, but nothing is as unappealing – or as unfunny – as Ferrell’s performance as Dr. Rick Marshall. Part of Ferrell’s charm has always been his fearlessness in playing outlandish parts, but watching him sweat his way through this bomb is downright painful.

2)      Semi-Pro. After playing a race car driver in Talladega Nights and an ice skater in Blades of Glory, playing an over-the-hill basketball player looked like a nothing-but-net three swish for the comic box office king, but Ferrell just isn’t funny in the movie. In fact, his portrayal of a has-been trying to relive past glory is downright mean.

3)    Melinda and Melinda. Maybe Ferrell isn’t totally to blame for this one; lord knows writer/director Woody Allen was way off his game with this overly complex and confusing story of two women (played by the same actress) trying to change their lives. Your heart goes out to Ferrell when watching the movie, because you can almost feel how repressed his natural comic talents are under Allen’s tight control. But that doesn’t mean you should watch it…ev