Friday, July 18, 2008

Blades of Glory (2007)

"The only skater to win four national championships and an adult film award."
- Co-anchor (describing Chazz Michael Michaels)

"No exaggeration, I could not love a human baby more then I love this brush."
- Chazz (Will Ferrell)

At a glance: Will Ferrell and Jon Heder star as feuding Olympic figure skaters in this comedy that is sometimes hilarious, sometimes raunchy, and always inventive and inspired.

Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) and Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell) are the two top skaters in the world, regularly going head to head for Olympic Gold. Jimmy is graceful, gentle, and effeminate; Chazz is rough and raunchy. They hate each other, and when they tie for Gold and get into a fight while podium-sharing, they are both banned from ever skating again. However, through a loophole, they find a way back in, but only by skating in pairs – with each other!

Figure skating is the perfect parody target; the skating scenes and up-close-and-personal videos are just hilarious; the fight-and-insult scenes much less so. The pairing of two men in an atypical Olympic setting harkened back to the days of Saturday Night Live, when Martin Short and Harry Shearer combined to do a hilarious synchronized swimming skit.

I was personally impressed with the obvious care and time that went into the making of this film. It was obvious, while watching, that Ferrell and Heder had to train extensively to make their skating look legitimate, and indeed they did: they trained with Michele Kwan's coach, Sarah Kawahara. Heder even broke his ankle while training.

Although occasionally on the vulgar side for laughs, Blades also has a sweetness to it, most of that gained by Ferrell’s redemption arc. Peppered with lots of cameos by real skating stars (Brian Boitano, Peggy Fleming, and many more). Rating: 3 of 4

 "Blades of Glory will have Will Ferrell fans dizzy with laughter. Silly, uneven, but hilarious when it's funny, the show might remind his fans of Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby."
- Linda Cook (Quad City Times [Davenport, IA])

"Hilarious comedy with superb comic performances from Heder and Ferrell and some impressive digital trickery during the ice skating scenes."
- Matthew Turner (ViewLondon)

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