Blades of Glory

Cast:
Will Ferrell as Chazz Michael Michaels
Jon Heder as Jimmy MacElroy
Will Arnett as Stranz Van Waldenberg
Amy Poehler as Fairchild Van Waldenberg
Jenna Fischer as Katie Van Waldenberg
William Fichtner as Darren MacElroy
Craig T. Nelson as Coach
Romany Malco as Jesse
Nick Swardson as Hector
Scott Hamilton as Sports Anchor
Andy Richter as Mountie #1
Greg Lindsay as Mountie #2

Summary:
Will Ferrell and Jon Heder are a lot of fun in “Blades of Glory.” A strong supporting cast also delivers a lot of laughs.

Story:
Chazz Michael Michaels and Jimmy MacElroy are the world’s top skaters. Chazz is a sex-crazed rebel on ice while Jimmy is a finely tuned athlete with a heart of gold. But when the bitter rivals get into a fight at a competition in Stockholm, they are both banned from the sport for life.

Years later, Jimmy and Chazz have hit rock bottom. Things change, though, when a fan discovers a loophole in the skating rulebook – Jimmy and Chazz can still compete in pairs skating. Reluctantly, the two agree to skate together and reclaim the world of skating. Along the way they must overcome macho inhibitions, rival skaters, and romantic rivalry to win the gold in Montreal.

“Blades of Glory” is rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, language, a comic violent image and some drug references.

What Worked:
If you like Will Ferrell or Jon Heder, you’re going to enjoy “Blades of Glory.” It isn’t the best film by either actor, but it is very funny. Any time either of these guys is put in an embarrassing situation, you know there’s going to be laughs. Fortunately, the world of figure skating offers up plenty of opportunities to put them in just such a situation. From the outrageous costumes to the melodramatic routines to the absurd competitiveness, there’s a lot to laugh at. And when the two attempt to perform the “Iron Lotus” stunt (something only attempted in North Korea with shocking results), “Blades of Glory” outdoes itself.

All that being said, “Blades of Glory” laughs with the world of figure skating, not really at it. The appearances by Scott Hamilton, Nancy Kerrigan, Dorothy Hamill, Brian Boitano, Sasha Cohen, and a bunch of others show that they get the joke. Some of the comments by Hamilton while commentating the skating events are hilarious and a scene where Sasha Cohen catches the jock strap of Chazz is also really funny. I don’t think skating fans are going to be offended by this movie.

A very strong supporting cast backs up Ferrell and Heder. Nick Swardson really stands out as Hector, an insane fan that stalks Jimmy. He takes creepy to a whole new level. Be sure to stay through the credits to see a bonus scene with him. I’m a big fan of Jenna Fischer from “The Office” and she does a good job as Katie Van Waldenberg. One memorable scene features a first kiss between her and Heder. If this isn’t nominated as Best Kiss at the MTV Movie Awards, then there’s no justice in the world. A later scene where she tries to seduce Ferrell is also amusing and will probably stun her “Office” fans. Will Arnett and Amy Poehler are also great as sibling skaters Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg. Their disturbing sexuality on the ice offers a lot of laughs. Arnett has a particularly funny chase scene through a mall with Ferrell.

I also have to give kudos to the creators for making Heder and Ferrell skate to “Flash Gordon” by Queen. It was absolutely hilarious and the last song I ever expected to hear on the big screen again. Between that and a Han and Chewbacca reference, they win geek points with me.

What Didn’t Work:
When Will Ferrell is on a roll, he can leave you rolling in the aisles with laughter. Then there are other times when his jokes fall absolutely flat. In “Blades of Glory,” he has about a 50-50 success rate. A lot of jokes fall flat, but there are enough good ones to still make this film well worth checking out.

I also wasn’t terribly impressed with the ending. I won’t spoil it here, but it was a bit outrageous, even for this movie.

The Bottom Line:
“Blades of Glory” is a film well worth checking out if you’re a fan of Ferrell, Heder, Fischer, or any of the other actors. And anyone that’s a fan of skating will definitely want to see it on the big screen.

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