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Overall Rating

Awesome: 9.46%
Worth A Look: 39.19%
Just Average44.59%
Pretty Crappy: 2.7%
Sucks: 4.05%

8 reviews, 26 user ratings

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Blades of Glory
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by Peter Sobczynski

"Ice Ice Baby!"
4 stars

A few years ago, we had “Anchorman,” a very funny comedy in which Will Ferrell played a pompous ass who reigned supreme at the top of his unique profession, lost his position thanks to a combination of hubris, stupidity and the arrival of a younger rival and regained it thanks to a newly humbled (if no less dopey) attitude. Last summer, we had “Talladega Nights,” a not-quite-as-funny comedy in which Will Ferrell played a pompous ass who reigned supreme at the top of his unique profession, lost his position thanks to a combination of hubris, stupidity and the arrival of a younger rival and regained it thanks to a newly humbled (if no less dopey) attitude. Now we have “Blades of Glory,” a comedy in which Will Ferrell plays a pompous ass who reigns supreme at the top of his unique profession, loses his position thanks to a combination of hubris, stupidity and the arrival of a younger rival and (Spoiler Warning!) regains it thanks to a newly humble (if no less dopey) attitude. Although the results are reasonably amusing, at least more so than “Talladega Nights” (mostly because it runs about a half-hour shorter), I suspect that I won’t be the first person to suggest to Farrell that he abandon this particular narrative style for a while unless, of course, his next film involves him playing a pompous ass film critic who loses his position thanks to a combination of hubris, stupidity and his frustration at having to write essentially the same review for a third time.

This time around, Ferrell plays Chazz Michael Michaels, a man’s man who worked his way up from the underground sewer-skating circuit in Detroit to dominate the world of men’s figure skating with hyped-up routines that commentators describe as “sex on ice.” His chief rival is the younger and prettier Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder), a feather-haired orphan who has been groomed since his adoption to a ruthless billionaire (William Fitchner) to be the champion as well. During a championship competition (think the Olympics without that pesky copyrighted trademark), Chazz and Jimmy wind up tying for the gold medal and during the medal ceremony, a fight breaks out between the two that results in a black eye for the entire, a scorched costume for a mascot standing too close to an overturned torch and lifetime bans for both Chazz and Jimmy. Since neither one is qualified to do anything that doesn’t involve gliding around in Lycra outfits to the sound of power ballads, both Jimmy and Chazz are at a loss of what to do with their lives–Jimmy finds himself “unadopted” while Chazz is reduced to playing a skating troll in a cheapo kiddie show while spending his off-hours drunkenly hitting on the wood nymphs.

Before long, a loophole in the skating rules is uncovered that states that while the two are banned from singles skating, there is nothing stopping them from competing in the pairs competition. With the final qualifying match for the upcoming championship just around the corner, Chazz and Jimmy are forced to put aside their differences and team up as the first all-male skating duo in the history of the sport. Amazingly, they qualify for the championships and their novelty quickly makes them a fan favorite. This doesn’t sit well with their chief competitors, the brother/sister duo of Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg (Will Arnett and Amy Poehler), and they plot to break them up by convincing sweet sister Katie (Jenna Fischer) to go out on a date with the smitten Jimmy and then forcing her to try to seduce Chazz. Even if this plot doesn’t succeed, the two are in danger of literally splitting up when their coach (Craig T. Nelson) insists that the only way they can win is by being the first to successfully perform the legendary move known as the Iron Lotus–a maneuver so dangerous that anyone who manages to pull it off perfectly will go down in history and anyone who doesn’t runs the risk of never having to attend another hat party as long as they live (which won’t be that long, as a grainy video of a North Korean attempt at the trick demonstrates).

Compared to the relatively elaborate likes of “Anchorman” and “Talladega Nights,” which at least seemed interested in the milieus they were mocking, “Blades of Glory” has the ramshackle feel of something that was quickly cobbled together when all the principal players discovered that they had a few weeks of free time in their schedules. You would think that between the obsessed competitors, the ridiculously pompous routines, the commentators droning on and on about the intricacies of axles and lutzes and the sometimes circumspect judging, making a comedy spoofing the world of competitive figure skating would be like shooting frozen fish in a barrel. Mysteriously, the five credited writers have largely decided to eschew any truly pointed satire towards the subject (perhaps in a bid to secure the appearances of the various real-life skating luminaries who pop up in cameos throughout) for easy jokes revolving around our heroes slamming their crotches into each other or falling on their faces. Anyone expecting the clever humor of “Anchorman” will probably be disappointed by the Level One nature of many of the jokes here–it often feels as if the writers just assumed that the sight of Will Ferrell packed into his revealing outfits was so inherently risible that they didn’t need to supply him with any other jokes. As a result, too many scenes just aimlessly dribble along and perfectly capable comic performers are left by the wayside–anyone who watches “The Office” can tell you that Jenna Fischer possesses crack comic timing but she spends most of her time here playing the straight woman and only gets one scene, her mock seduction of Chazz (while clad in an outfit that puts even her current “Wired” cover photo to shame), to show how funny she can be.

What saves “Blades of Glory” from complete disposability is the inescapable fact that during the periods when the film is funny, it is really, really funny. Without going into too much detail, I found myself laughing a lot during the short biographical films chronicling the early years of Chazz and Jimmy. I laughed at practically every moment involving Jimmy’s adoptive father. I laughed at the sight of Chazz hitting on Nancy Kerrigan. I liked Chazz’s explanation of the Black-Eyed Peas’s song “My Humps”: “No one knows what it means, but it is provocative.” I laughed at our first glimpse of the fearsome Iron Lotus. And unlike “Anchorman” and “Talladega Nights,” both of which began to run out of steam in their final reels, “Blades of Glory” packs some of its most inspired bits during its climax, a bizarro romp that involves one of the weirder chase scenes in recent memory, the presence of Andy Richter as an exceedingly polite Mountie and the deliriously daft choice of music for Chazz and Jimmy’s final routine. The finale is so amusing, in fact, that I found many of my earlier objections begin to fade away. (However, those wishing to maintain that good feeling should leave the theater the minute the film ends and avoid the painfully unfunny end-credit ramblings of Nick Swardson, whose effeminate stalker character is by far its weakest element on display.)

Like many recent comedies, “Blades of Glory” is fairly ragged and never quite as funny throughout as it clearly seems to think it is. Unlike most recent comedies, it does contain enough genuine laughs within its 90-minute running time so that you can sort of justify the admission price (especially if you can hit the matinee show). It won’t go down in history as anyone’s idea of a truly great comedy–for that, you’ll have to wait another month for the release of “Hot Fuzz”–but if you go in with a suitably silly frame of mind and adjusted expectations, you should find yourself having a reasonably good, though instantly forgettable, time.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=15576&reviewer=389
originally posted: 03/30/07 01:25:41
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User Comments

6/27/13 raouljohn Good entertainment from all involved. 5 stars
12/04/11 Pamela White a diasater 1 stars
7/18/10 Ron Will Ferrell isn't even funny accidently 1 stars
5/30/08 Doug Laughed so hard I cried during their first pair skating event. Not great, but good movie. 4 stars
4/11/08 John Millheim I LMAO, it was real funny. very good comedy 5 stars
1/22/08 Phil M. Aficionado From hilarious to stupid & back a few times; inspired silliness. Laughs? More than a few. 4 stars
1/22/08 gcc Slows down a bit in the 2nd half, but Will Farrell... always hilarious 4 stars
9/28/07 David Cohen I thought the previews looked really dumb, but the movie turned out to be pretty good 4 stars
9/03/07 Melissa i was ROFLMAO. funny! 5 stars
9/02/07 DUSTIN P. I WILL MARRY THIS MOVIE!!! 5 stars
9/01/07 orpy Love Wil Ferrell but this was BAAADDDD, sucked! 2 stars
8/23/07 edmond leung Oh, my god. I couldn't stop laughing 4 stars
7/02/07 William Goss Funnier than expected, with Ferrell kept on the perfect length leash. Solid silly fun. 4 stars
6/27/07 Randoo So many things were just wrong, but a funny movie none the less 4 stars
4/18/07 MP Bartley The chase scene is a thing of genius. The rest of the film however... 3 stars
4/16/07 Brittany it deserves and oscar. 5 stars
4/13/07 Corey Z SWARDSON RULES 3 stars
4/13/07 Danny Ferrell back to his stupid best, after the awful talledega. 4 stars
4/10/07 mikeconcho I thought the movie was way better than Talledega but just under Anchorman. 5 stars
4/09/07 Dan Worse than Talledega, can't touch Anchorman's greatness. Needed a better supporting cast. 2 stars
4/09/07 Darren Shea Not horrible,but unable to reach its full potential.+1 star if you REALLY like Will Ferrell 3 stars
4/03/07 cybrwolf A little predictable but filled with funny gay jokes and will ferrell being will ferrell 5 stars
4/03/07 Summersweet207 I love Will Ferrell, I think he is so funny, in this movie it was so stupid but yet funny. 4 stars
4/01/07 Quigley One of the biggest wastes of time to hit theaters ever. I hope it will be forgotten forever 1 stars
3/31/07 Leo Appropriately ridiculous. 4 stars
3/31/07 Ole Man Bourbon Dazzling and stupid. 4 stars
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  30-Mar-2007 (PG-13)
  DVD: 28-Aug-2007

  06-Apr-2007 (12A)
  DVD: 06-Aug-2007


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