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Overall Rating
3.47

Awesome: 9.46%
Worth A Look: 39.19%
Average44.59%
Pretty Bad: 2.7%
Total Crap: 4.05%

8 reviews, 26 user ratings


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Blades of Glory
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by Todd LaPlace

"Or "Anchorman" on ice."
3 stars

Hmmm, let’s see. Soccer? Check. Auto racing? Check. Figure skating? Thanks to “Blades of Glory,” check. Will Ferrell has finally completed his trifecta of sports movies. He has now starred in a movie based on the three most boring, inane sports imaginable. And while I’d like to say that he took these dull sports and injected them with new life thanks to his witty repartee and comic mannerisms, I can’t. “Blades of Glory” might be better than “Kicking and Screaming” and “Talladega Nights,” but when you think about it, that’s not saying much.

It’s nice to see that even the professional figure skaters don’t take themselves or their sport too seriously. Scott Hamilton, Nancy Kerrigan, Dorothy Hamill, Brian Boitano and Sasha Cohen (not to be confused with the Borat guy that appeared in Will Ferrell’s NASCAR movie) are just a few of the skaters that put in cameo appearances in Ferrell’s latest slapstick effort, “Blades of Glory,” but I think there are two missing cameos that would have trumped them all. Where aren’t you back, Moira Kelly and D.B. Sweeney? The two actors, who played a snooty, traditional pairs skater and her reluctant rebellious partner in “The Cutting Edge,” are so obviously the inspiration for “Blades” that it actually seems like a noticeable oversight that the pair wasn’t invited back. Someone screwed up big.

Ferrell fills the Sweeney role as Chazz Michael Michaels, the pudgy bad boy of the figure skating world. He’s a self-described sex addict, he performs his routines to songs like Billy Squier’s “The Stroke” and his personal motto is “clothing optional.” His arch rival is Jimmy MacElroy (“Napoleon Dynamite” himself, Jon Heder), an effeminate traditional skater that was adopted by a billionaire (William Fichtner) with a preference for athletically-gifted children. When Chazz’s “Stroke” routine and Jimmy’s portrayal of a peacock put them in a tie for gold, the pair’s fighting gets so rough that they end up setting the mascot on fire, earning them both a lifetime ban from professional men’s skating.

It’s a shame too, because when the film’s on the ice, it’s a hysterical lampoon of a sport that’s already absurd to begin with. There is no such thing as going too far when it comes to satirizing figure skating. Choreographer Sarah Kawahara and costume designer Julie Weiss deserve a huge ovation for making every skating scene completely ridiculous and completely hilarious. Fortunately, their contribution isn’t limited to the first twenty minutes. Jimmy’s crazy stalker Hector (Nick Swardson, whose shtick is seriously past its prime) keys him into a loop hole that would allow them both to return as a pairs team. Through a fortuitous turn of events, Chazz is looking for a new gig after he’s fired from a kids ice show after getting drunk before a show and vomiting in his giant head.

Facing off against Chazz and Jimmy are the merciless and somewhat incestuous brother/sister team Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg (played by real life husband and wife, Will Arnett and Amy Poehler), who have forced their non-skating sister Katie (Jenna Fischer) to cater to their every crazy whim. While I’m a huge fan of Fischer on “The Office” (totally Team Pam here), her appearance in “Blades” is one of the many little subplots that should have gotten hacked during editing. It’s certainly one of the classic cases of too many cooks, or in this case, screenwriters. The adoption subplot is good for a couple of laughs in the first few minutes, but Fichtner’s character never returns after ditching Jimmy on the side of a snowy highway. After Hector delivers news of the loophole, he also fails to reappear, even though on his way out, he vowed to one day kill Jimmy, which could have been mined at least a little more. And if four writers aren’t infuriating enough, the film’s directing pair, John Gordon and Will Speck — who both won an Oscar in 1999 for their comedy short “Culture” and are the advertising men behind the Geico commercials — fare no better. The performances by the Van Waldenbergs are aggravatingly short, even though their tasteless takes on the doomed John F. Kennedy/Marilyn Monroe romance and urban culture (brilliantly set to Marky Mark’s “Good Vibrations”) are easily the funniest moments in the entire film.

Having earned legitimacy in last fall’s overlooked “Stranger than Fiction,” Ferrell is unfortunately back to his tired old routines. Hey Will, we get that you don’t have a body designed for athletics, but you don’t have to take your shirt off at every opportunity. And we’d all just gotten over that “Saturday Night Live” sketch with you in a red, white and blue g-string. But even though he’s back to the same old stuff, he at least fares better than Heder, whose Mormon background, I suspect, is at least partially responsible for the movie’s tame PG-13 rating. While I completely respect Heder’s religion (and am very impressed he’s managed to stay devout in the temptations of Hollywood), I’m not sure his quirks blends with Ferrell’s slightly raunchy style. While Chazz is licking women’s faces, reaching second base with scantily-clad women and getting stoned with the Woodland Fairies at his kids show gig, Jimmy is helping little girls buy ice skates and taking Katie out for sno cones. We get that they’re supposed to be opposites (although the fire and ice costumes make it pretty obvious), but they’re still supposed to have some chemistry together. Let’s just say that I don’t think Heder’s going to get his invite to join the frat pack just quite yet.

I think the biggest problem with “Blades of Glory,” which is a problem present in almost all of the frat pack’s movies, is that the plot is written around a series of jokes, rather than the opposite, and it’s just not working anymore. With the critical and commercial success of wittier alternatives like “Borat” and “The Office,” the old slapstick act is starting to look stale. “Blades of Glory” certainly has more than its share of laughs and those looking for a mindless escape are sure to be entertained enough, but that doesn’t cover for the fact that the picture is nothing more than a repetitive comedy that will be completely forgotten by the time the next forgettable Will Ferrell slapstick comes along.

Just in case you didn’t get your fill of Will Ferrell starring in comedies about the worst sports ever created, be on the lookout for “Semi-Pro,” Will’s assuredly average take on basketball. Good thing it co-stars comic genius Maura Tierney. That’s some solid sixth man support, because nothing says funny like a starring role on “ER.”

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=15576&reviewer=401
originally posted: 04/01/07 16:58:17
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User Comments

6/28/13 raouljohn Good entertainment from all involved. 5 stars
12/05/11 Pamela White a diasater 1 stars
7/18/10 Ron Will Ferrell isn't even funny accidently 1 stars
5/31/08 Doug Laughed so hard I cried during their first pair skating event. Not great, but good movie. 4 stars
4/12/08 John Millheim I LMAO, it was real funny. very good comedy 5 stars
1/22/08 Phil M. Aficionado From hilarious to stupid & back a few times; inspired silliness. Laughs? More than a few. 4 stars
1/22/08 gcc Slows down a bit in the 2nd half, but Will Farrell... always hilarious 4 stars
9/29/07 David Cohen I thought the previews looked really dumb, but the movie turned out to be pretty good 4 stars
9/03/07 Melissa i was ROFLMAO. funny! 5 stars
9/03/07 DUSTIN P. I WILL MARRY THIS MOVIE!!! 5 stars
9/02/07 orpy Love Wil Ferrell but this was BAAADDDD, sucked! 2 stars
8/24/07 edmond leung Oh, my god. I couldn't stop laughing 4 stars
7/03/07 William Goss Funnier than expected, with Ferrell kept on the perfect length leash. Solid silly fun. 4 stars
6/27/07 Randoo So many things were just wrong, but a funny movie none the less 4 stars
4/19/07 MP Bartley The chase scene is a thing of genius. The rest of the film however... 3 stars
4/17/07 Brittany it deserves and oscar. 5 stars
4/14/07 Corey Z SWARDSON RULES 3 stars
4/14/07 Danny Ferrell back to his stupid best, after the awful talledega. 4 stars
4/11/07 mikeconcho I thought the movie was way better than Talledega but just under Anchorman. 5 stars
4/10/07 Dan Worse than Talledega, can't touch Anchorman's greatness. Needed a better supporting cast. 2 stars
4/10/07 Darren Shea Not horrible,but unable to reach its full potential.+1 star if you REALLY like Will Ferrell 3 stars
4/04/07 cybrwolf A little predictable but filled with funny gay jokes and will ferrell being will ferrell 5 stars
4/04/07 Summersweet207 I love Will Ferrell, I think he is so funny, in this movie it was so stupid but yet funny. 4 stars
4/02/07 Quigley One of the biggest wastes of time to hit theaters ever. I hope it will be forgotten forever 1 stars
4/01/07 Leo Appropriately ridiculous. 4 stars
4/01/07 Ole Man Bourbon Dazzling and stupid. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  30-Mar-2007 (PG-13)
  DVD: 28-Aug-2007

UK
  06-Apr-2007 (12A)
  DVD: 06-Aug-2007

Australia
  21-Jun-2007




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