Genre: Comedy Running Time: 1 hr. 33 min.
Release Date: March 30th, 2007 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Josh Gordon, Will Speck Actors: Will Ferrell, Jon Heder, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, Jenna Fischer, William Fichtner, Craig T. Nelson, Romany Malco, Nick Swardson
qual parts absurdity and hilarity, “Blades of Glory” refuses to let up with its comic hijinks and harebrained mockery of figure skating. Ferrell and Heder play off each other’s ridiculous banter and improvisations to create an entertaining, not-so-family-friendly spoof worthy of taking home the gold. Never has senselessness been so much fun.
Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell) is a rowdy, showman rock star on ice, skating his way to a gold medal. Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) is an overly feminine figure skater whose signature move is to release a wild dove at the end of his performance. Having been bitter rivals throughout their careers, they break out into a fiery brawl when they tie for gold at the figure skating World Championships, which leaves them permanently banned from the sport. After several years of obscurity, they reunite to exploit a loophole that will allow them to compete in the pairs competition and give them one more shot at the coveted top prize. But can they set aside their opposition and bickering long enough to show the world the most stunning guy-on-guy figure skating stunts ever choreographed?
Will Ferrell’s brand of comedy isn’t for everyone. But for those who admire his bluntly immature and often incredibly childish blend of humor, “Blades of Glory” will hit the spot. Ferrell gets to play his typical loud-mouthed, spontaneous ruffian who dishes out mindless rants at every skeptic remark; the general personality of his characters essentially never changes, but the supporting actors and settings are what keep his films moderately fresh.
In previous Ferrell outings, his partnerships didn’t produce enough comedic chemistry. But in “Blades of Glory,” Heder brings a familiar face and a unique style of visual humor to the stage. Though he’ll probably never shake the goofy Napoleon Dynamite persona he so adroitly perfected, here it serves him well. “Blades of Glory” gives audiences looking for more than a one-man show something to fall back on should either character not appear completely appealing. In addition, an excellent supporting cast includes Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, Jenna Fischer, William Fichtner, and Craig T. Nelson – plus a number of cameos.
Shaggy brown hair and a grungy rock star getup allow plenty of comedy to feed off Michaels’ mangy appearance, while MacElroy’s own mop-like, blonde wig and ambiguous sexuality fuel a large percentage of the physical comedy and back-and-forth affronts. A slow-speed pursuit across the souvenir shops at the championship stadium, armed with ice skates and no coordination, proves to be one of the better examples of slapstick, while one of the funniest sequences involves little more than dialogue as Michaels crudely coaches MacElroy on how to woo a timid girl over the phone – who is in turn being guided by her own crass advisor. It’s all a routinely amusing blend of infantile scenarios and daffy characters that matches Ferrell’s string of send-ups on various professions and sports – from “Anchorman” to “Kicking & Screaming” to “Talladega Nights.”
– Mike Massie