Blades of Glory
Review by Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Return To Glory – The Making Of Blades; Deleted & Alternative Scenes; Celebrities On Thin Ice; Cooler Then Ice: The Super-Sexy Costumes Of Skating; Arnett And Poehler – A Family Affair; 20 Questions With Scott Hamilton; Hector: Portrait Of A Psychofan; Moviephone Unscripted With Will Ferrell, Jon Heder And Will Arnett; Music Video ‘Blades Of Glory’ By Bo Bice; Gag Reel; MTV Interstitials; Theatrical Trailer; Photo Galleries.
IF the idea of a Will Ferrell comedy featuring the world’s first competitive male pairs figure skaters puts a smile on your face then go and see Blades of Glory because it will probably keep it there.
Will Speck and Josh Gordon’s film is aware of its silliness from the beginning and doesn’t pretend to offer anything more into the bargain. It’s dumb fun that’s considerably enlivened by Ferrell’s comic ability. But it finds itself on thin ice whenever his co-star John Heder takes centre-stage.
Heder has consistently struggled to find his way in films since breaking through with Napoleon Dynamite but while Blades undoubtedly provides him with something a little bit different, it merely heightens the suspicion that he could be a one-trick pony.
Heder and Ferrell play Jimmy MacElroy and Chazz Michael Michaels respectively, two rival figure skaters who are stripped of their joint gold medals after falling out spectacularly on the winners’ podium.
Struggling to adapt to life in the real world, the duo are offered an unlikely shot at redemption by a stalker (Nick Swardson) who finds a loophole in the figure skating rule book that will allow them to compete as pairs.
They subsequently enlist the help of Jimmy’s former coach (Craig T Nelson) to make their comeback and find themselves having to contemplate a ridiculously dangerous dance routine in order to beat the reigning sibling champions, Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg (played by real-life husband and wife Will Arnett and Amy Poehler).
Blades of Glory works best in the company of Ferrell’s Chazz Michaels, a grungy rocker with greasy black hair and a pot belly who’s also a self-confessed sex addict. As with most Ferrell comic creations, Michaels is a loveable rogue who takes all manner of embarassing situations and somehow turns them to his favour (just witness his attempts to cure himself of sex addiction or his outrageous put-downs).
The final 20 minutes also tend to get away from the co-directors too as the film resorts to an OTT chase sequence, too much toilet humour (literally) and a totally stupid final scene and end credits sequence.
Given the jovial nature of what’s come before (when some of the gags are genuinely inspired) anyone who enjoyed the likes of Anchorman and Talladega Nights should dig this too. It’s big dumb fun that earns its place on the comedy podium despite missing out on gold.
Running time: 94mins