Blades of Glory (2007) dir. Josh Gordon & Will Speck
Starring: Will Ferrell, Jon Heder, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett
“Blades of Glory” is another decent low-brow comedy from Will Ferrell who is quickly amassing a great body of guilty-pleasure comedy films – “Old School”, “Anchorman,” and “Talledega Nights”.
Will Ferrell brings some of his frequent players to the film, including Andy Richter (Talledega), Luke Wilson (Old School), Amy Poehler (SNL), Rob Cordrry (Old School) and newbies Will Arnett (Arrested Development), Craig T. Nelson (Coach), Romany Malco (Weeds) and Jenna Fischer (The Office). The supporting characters and cameos, unfortunately, don’t bring as many pure laughs or gags to their scenes as say, Gary Cole, Paul Rudd or Seth Rogan and so the movie rests solely on Will Ferrell.
At the beginning Chaz Michael Michaels (Ferrell) and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) are rival figure skaters. Their elaborate and ridiculous backstories are told in flashback – the effeminate MacElroy was adopted by a money-grubbing sports scout/opportunist and brought up “Tiger Woods”-style to live and breath figure skating; Michaels is the badass of the sport, who is also a boozing sex-addicted male chauvinist. After a fight on the podium at the World Championships, Chaz and Jimmy are both banned from the sport. For three years they take demeaning jobs to pay the bills – Jimmy, a minimum wage-earning skate salesman, and Chaz, a performer at a lame “Barney-On-Ice”-type show for kids. Ferrell’s drunken performance in front of the kids on his last show is a highlight.
Chaz's coach, Craig T. Nelson, teams up the two skaters to compete as pairs, which is the only loophole in which they can compete. Of course, the rivalry still exists and they find themselves devoting more time to insane chauvinistic contests than working together for mutual benefit. These scenes are funny as well. Eventually they learn to work with each other and make it back to the World Championships again where they get a chance at redemption and to reclaim their glory.
Much of the secondary laughs come from the Van Waldenberg twins - Amy Poehler and Will Arnett - an evil brother-sister team with an equally elaborate and foolish backstory. Their shunned sister, a yummy Jenna Fischer, falls in love with MacElroy and becomes the bait by which the twins try to subvert Chaz and Jimmy’s chances at winning.
The formula of the story is not original, but it’s the details– the characters, their backstories and the ridiculous situations they find themselves in - that keep the story flowing and interesting to the viewer.
Considering the film will likely come to video in the next couple of months, this is probably a renter, and would in fact probably be enhanced with some form of alcoholic accompaniment. Enjoy