It's hard not to find humor in the men’s figure skating at the Winter Olympics, with the abundance of pastels, spandex, and flamboyancy. Add Will Ferrell to the equation and you’ve got Blades of Glory, a movie so absurdly over-the-top, you can’t help but laugh.
In the movie, which opens nationwide tomorrow, Will Ferrell stars as Chazz Michael Michaels, who couldn't be more different from his arch rival, Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder). After tying for an Olympic Gold, they are forced to share the podium, where they collide both figuratively and literally. After the brawl, the two are banned from figure skating — until almost four years later, when they discover that they can get around their sentence by joining forces as the first all-male skating pair. For all of the highlights,
Chazz, the sex-addicted badass of the figure skating world, was raised without a father and grew up ice-skating in the sewers. There is no shortage of ironic jokes about Ferrell’s “sex appeal” and more than one scene in which he wears only briefs and proudly displays his chest hair to Jimmy’s disgust. Jimmy, meanwhile, is a prissy and often whiny (yet sweet) man-child who was raised by his rich father to cultivate his skating. Heder’s performance is enough to make me forget about Napoleon Dynamite, but I often felt that he was trying too hard. However, he and Ferrell do have great comedic chemistry, with banter that's reminiscent of the hilarious quips between Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller in Zoolander.
As to be expected from a Will Ferrell comedy, Blades of Glory has an astounding supporting cast and is chock-full of cameos. Will Arnett (the brilliant Gob from Arrested Development) and Amy Poehler are hilarious as the villainous brother/sister skating team that pose as Chazz and Jimmy’s only threat. Craig T. Nelson is also great as “Coach” (yes, totally tongue in cheek), who must teach the boys to work as a team. Jenna Fischer is well cast as Jimmy’s love interest, although I found their chemistry to be lacking and didn’t feel that it brought much to the movie.
All in all, Blades of Glory is what I like to call a “what you see is what you get” kind of movie. It is just as ridiculous as it looks, but also delivers the laughs that a Ferrell movie promises. It is entertaining from beginning to end, and Ferrell and Heder leave it all on the ice: excessively heinous costumes, a little romance, and more jokes about men in compromising positions than you could ever imagine.
Photos courtesy of Paramount