TBT: Blades of Glory (2007)

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And I guess we are going to switch tones here quickly, by choosing a comedy vehicle for Mr. Will Ferrell for this Thursday. A comedy that has blades. Because that is really the only thing I can say about it that’s mostly positive and truthful; or I could lie and say something really cheesy, like. . .this is a comedy with a razor-sharp wit. Eh, that line actually sounded a lot better in my head. ANYway, moving on. . . .Today is our second edition of the Olympic throwbacks, and. . .well, to be completely truthful. . .this ain’t no world-class affair. With all due respect to figure skating, there are some subjects that not even the Ferrell school of comedy can save for podium placement. 

Today’s food for thought: Blades of Glory

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Release: March 30, 2007

[Netflix]

As if it weren’t abundantly clear before, Will Ferrell will do anything to wring satire from some real world events that, admittedly, do seem ripe for comedy. Seems he really stretched himself thin here though, putting on a performance that causes more eye-rolls and face-palms than chuckles. Because his career has been molded from a prolific number of feature-length SNL skits, most of which have proven his ability to be consistently funny, there was always going to be speculation as to where and when he would take the inevitable misstep.

That moment doesn’t seem to get any more obvious than his participation in this excruciatingly bad spoof of the world of competitive figure skating. For the most part, the Will Ferrell spirit is in tact with Blades of Glory, as he is the source of the movie’s few and far between moments of chuckle-inducing comedy; but the film — directed by the people who would be responsible for 2010’s offensively unfunny The Switch — turns out to be nothing more than an Adam McKay wannabe.

It’s not like Ferrell’s many collaborations with McKay have all been successful, and even the best of their efforts have moments that tend to paint targets on the back of their heads for anyone willing to take aim at their levels of silliness. But rare is the Will Ferrell movie that is so over-the-top, so dumb that it ceases to be a movie and slowly slides into the status of being a terrible, terrible spectacle. Beginning with a premise that is as generic as a bowl of Corn Flakes, let’s hope that this is the worst Will Ferrell movie yours truly will ever lay eyes on.

Talented male ice skaters Chazz Michael Michaels (Ferrell) and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) disgrace themselves at an elite ice skating competition when their egos prove to be too unwieldy to be held upon a single podium. The result of a massive fight is their lifetime ban from the division of singles skating. Jimmy, an orphan having been raised by his coldhearted foster father (William Fichtner), is a sensitive, dignified male skater who apparently has so much grace his hair looks as though it has been plucked from the feathers of the finest quail; he’s a stark contrast to Chazz, who is described as the “leather-clad lothario” of ice skating. Fitting description, really. They forgot to add, “classless douche who soils the image of figure skating permanently, and seemingly out of spite.” Such ruination is obviously the aim here, but it seems as though the same effect could have been achieved had Ferrell not overacted so much, trying to make a terrible script work in whatever way he could.

Back to the storyline: the fruity pair of star-crossed nitwits discover a loophole in the bylaws, which would allow them to still participate in pairs skating, should they find a partner. Of course, neither of them are able to do that, and the only option they have left is to skate with each other and form the world’s first all-male skating couple. This is an opportunity first recognized by Jimmy’s former trainer (Craig T. Nelson) when he watches footage of the two fighting and realizes they seem to have chemistry. Over the next several days — they find out they have extremely limited time to put together a routine in time for the next World Skating Competition (a less cool Olympic-esque stage) — Coach attempts to tone down the pair’s hostility towards one another and get them focused on the task at hand.

There’s nothing here that should surprise: an extremely convenient storyline yielding hilariously unrealistic results. Except, scratch out the word ‘hilariously.’ The sole visual gag that truly works with this film is the chubby body of Will Ferrell, a blobby mess that is so clearly not the body of an ice skater. At the heart of this story there should be some chemistry between Ferrell and Heder, and while there is some to be found, it’s not enough to take attention away from this very poorly realized script.

The villains are even less threatening than usual here, and are portrayed by the exceedingly irritating tandem of Will Arnett and Amy Poehler. They play the brother-and-sister pair, Stranz and Fairchild Waldenberg, who are the favorites to win it all. They use their other sibling, Katie (Jenna Fischer) in an attempt to sabotage Jimmy and Chazz at every turn. This subplot is added to no great effect and comes off as filler material for an already anorexic movie.

Blades of Glory ostensibly is nothing different from the other Ferrell comedies that take a subject and make fun of it until there’s nothing left to make fun of. But it is just bad. Jokes land less often than the fabled ‘iron lotus’ trick. Heder’s act wears thin quick, and Ferrell can’t shake the shadows of some of his better creations. The rest of the cast fair no better. Even Craig T. Nelson seems to be phoning every one of his lines in. I like stupid schtick as much as the next person, but there apparently seems to be a limit to the stupidity that can pass for tolerable. The flimsiness of Blades of Glory doesn’t cut it.

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1-5Recommendation: There are far better comedy vehicles driven by one of the greatest SNL alums of all time. Unless you have literally nothing else going on, avoid this film. It skates on thin ice from beginning to end, and now it makes sense why it took me until today to actually watch this one.

Rated: PG-13

Running Time: 93 mins.

Quoted: “Chazz Michael Michaels: an ice-devouring sex tornado.”

All content originally published and the reproduction elsewhere without the expressed written consent of the blog owner is prohibited.

Photo credits: http://www.joblo.com; http://www.imdb.com 

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22 thoughts on “TBT: Blades of Glory (2007)

  1. Pingback: Top That: Ten Actresses Who Clearly Love Their Job | digitalshortbread

  2. I agree completely. The movie was awful save some semi-awkward and mildly funny moments. I feel that Blades of Glory will be Will’s last awful movie and he knows it. Great review Tom!

    • Let us hope that it is, but I’m somehow not as confident as you on that. He’ll take a paycheck whenever he’s running out of good ideas. I find him best when working alongside Adam McKay.

      Thanks Dustin

    • hahah see I love the guy, but even I hated this one, which really speaks to how much Blades of Glory failed. . . but I understand why people aren’t on board with him. He’s kind of a one-trick pony 🙂

      • You know the thing is, he has so much more potential than the crap he gets up to, and I mean he has some movies that I thoroughly enjoyed and then so many that missed. Meh. I don’t hate him, I am just very indifferent.

      • Understandable completely. I think I was watching this one and thinking to myself during my many moments of boredom that, what if Will Ferrell for once stepped into drama? How would he do?

        I guess he’s come close, he did Stranger than Fiction (not sure if you’ve seen that, but if you haven’t I def recommend it for a change of pace).

  3. I hate Will Ferrell. Okay, I liked him in The Lego Movie, and did not mind Step Brothers. The latter I was a younger and intoxicated during my viewing so not sure if the humor would still resonate with me! Maybe the original Anchorman as well, but otherwise, the guy is over the top to a point of just being annoying. I remember watching this on a Friday years back, but cannot remember any of the movie. Weird right? Remember the day, but none of the film. I guess that says something…

    • That definitely speaks volumes of this waste of time! 🙂

      I’m actually a fairly big fan of Ferrell’s but for every reason I like his act, I see precisely why people don’t take to him, he is very over the top and silly 99.9% of the time. That’s my kind of humor though. . .or at least one of my favorite brands. I’m also more of a fan of subtle/physical humor, but Ferrell’s SNL schtick really wore thin here, and for the first time ever I really saw how other people view him: irritating. I think Jon Heder annoyed me more, though. Or Amy Poehler. Or Will Arnett.

      • The worst part is, I am exactly the same. Silly humor is my thing. Proof? I adore South Park. So, the fact that Will Ferrell does not appeal to me is shocking. However, Semi-Pro, Anchorman 2, and Blades of Glory are prime examples of what causes my dislike.

        You are right though. Heder is worse. I hate that guy even more.

      • Yeah I understand. I don’t. . . .think. . .I’ve caught Semi-Pro yet, but I’ve seen a few pics from it and the concept seems really damn stupid too. Fortunately the thing he’s making fun of is a sport I can actually get behind lol.

        That’s interesting about you not liking him in Anchorman 2, to me it’s a carbon copy of the original, which is kind of a fault its own but I was sold on it. But, to each his own.

    • lol yeah this was one of Ferrell’s lamer attempts at comedy, but I’m glad you liked it man. It did have a couple of very funny scenes, and I can’t believe I didn’t mention Jenna Fischer’s presence here! Holy hawt damn. 😉

    • Thanks dude, glad you like!! Ah, next week is still up in the air, I think. But I am leaning towards a classic for sure! 🙂 Gonna keep it mysterious for now, but tune in next week!!

      As far as this goes, you’re really not missing much man. It’s not Ferrell’s best. In fact I’d put it at the bottom of the list of things I’ve seen from him thus far. . .

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