Sunday, April 15, 2007

REVIEW: Blades of Glory

It started with dodgeball. Then it was NASCAR. Now it's figure skating. Hollywood seems to be going through a phase of sports-themed comedies, and this weekend will see the release of Blades of Glory, the latest Will Ferrell movie in which he plays the same egotistical-jerk-at-the-top-of-his-game as usual. Really, does he play anything else?

Will Ferrell and Jon Heder play Chazz Michael Michaels and Jimmy MacElroy, respectively - professional figure skaters whose rivalry for each other eventually results in them being permanently prohibited from skating singles in the Olympics. However, the pair discover a loophole that will allow them to skate as a pair. They'll have to put aside their differences if they're going to steal the gold from the favored competitors, Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg (Will Arnett and Amy Poehler).

Ferrell and Heder have great chemistry, and that's what keeps this comedy afloat. Although a lot of the jokes get repetitive, their facial expressions and mannerisms always result in at least a chuckle. With the exception of the two leads, all of the other characters are entirely one-dimensional, existing only to crack a few one-liners and move the story along. It's unfortunate more time wasn't spent developing the script, but as a comedy it does succeed in garnering laughs.

The film reaches its peak when it moves away from the obvious homosexual innuendoes and focuses on developing the rivalry between the two protagonists and finding newer and better skating techniques. The figure skating is perfectly exaggerated, playing off the conventions of the sport and its athletes with the right balance of seriousness and satire.

Blades of Glory is not the great, timeless comedy that it had potential to be. However, neither is it the tired clich�d piece of garbage it also could have been. Rather, it's content to stay somewhere in the middle. The jokes are the kind that you'll find yourself laughing at and then forgetting within minutes of leaving the theater.

In the end, this is just your standard comedy, nothing more. It doesn't live up to its potential, but it should satisfy viewers, at least until the next Will Ferrell sports movie comes out.

Rating: 6.5/10


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