Blades of Glory nothing more than glorified dud

Comedians Will Ferrell and Jon Heder up to their old antics — but on ice — in the latest 'hero-to-zero-to-hero' flick

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Jon Heder in Blades of Glory

Blades of Glory
Directed by: Josh Gordon, Will Speck
Starring: Will Ferrell, Jon Heder

3.5 stars

Blades of Glory is yet another flick to add to the “Definitive Will Ferrell Box Set.”

The story follows the “hero-to-zero-to-hero” template as Chaz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell) and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) struggle to regain their former glory as world champion figure skaters. It’s the usual enemies-turned-friends story dominated by cheeky one-liners, awkward pseudo man-love and, as always, an excessive display of Will Ferrell’s naked chest.

Ferrell plays his part well but, then again, he’s no stranger to playing a loud, cocky, celebrity. Despite his crippling addiction to sex, Ferrell’s character is essentially the same loudmouth he played in Anchorman and Talledega Nights.

Heder also performs well, but his character is basically the same easily annoyed, wimpy teenager he played in Napoleon Dynamite.

As Ferrell’s sidekick, Heder is denied many funny lines. His laughs mostly come from the incredibly over-the-top outfits he sports throughout the movie or when his face is repeatedly hammered by large, hard objects.

Jenna Fischer (The Office) provides the necessary love interest, playing a caring, honest but essentially one-dimensional girl.

The supporting cast also draws on its personae from many of its members’ previous roles. The cliché obsessive fan is played by Nick Swardson (Click), and Will Arnett (Arrested Development) and Amy Poehler (Mean Girls) play the duo’s rival skating team. Unfortunately, the characters aren’t developed enough to be effective.

Of course, a Will Ferrell movie isn’t complete without at least one Wilson brother cameo. This time it’s Luke Wilson who makes a “surprise” appearance as Ferrell’s sex therapist.

While the movie features a very original low-speed chase scene on figure skates, there aren’t actually very many figure skating scenes, considering it’s the movie’s premise. The film would have benefited from a few more of these scenes, especially since they were well done and perfectly parodied competitive male figure skating.

If Blades of Glory was Ferrell and Heder’s first movie, it would probably be a lot funnier. The physical humour and standard Ferrell/Heder one-liners provide some solid laughs, but the film provides nothing new.

If Brokeback Mountain didn’t get Best Picture, don’t think Blades of Glory is going anywhere other than right beside Talladega Nights on Blockbuster’s $10 DVD rack.

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