Saturday, May 12, 2007

Blades of Glory

What's That Smell?

I'm fast converting to a Will Ferrell Fan, given that I've laughed out loud at his silly antics, in particular, the recent effort in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. And now, joining forces with yet another up-coming comedian in Jon Heder (School of Scoundrels, The Benchwarmers), I had high hopes of watching Blades of Glory to chase the week's blues away.

However, expectation can be quite a bitch, and while Blades of Glory was funny, it wasn't laugh out loud funny from start to end. It had its moments, but only certain scenes to bring out those tears of nonsensical joy. For the most parts, it was pretty plain sailing - you know it's funny, just nothing to get that extra tickle out of you. And worse yet, the best moments were in the trailer, leaving you wondering if there were any more scenes left in the story to top those.

The story tells of two rival ice skaters who belong to opposite sides of the sport. The introduction plays out like Zoolander, where the profiles of each character are put through funny montages. Jim MacElroy (Heder) is your typical bred-for-excellence sportsman, with impeccable manners, demeanour and discipline, executing his moves by the book. Chazz Michael Michaels (Ferrell) on the other hand, is your bad boy of the sport, a sex-addict who fuses sex into his moves, the master of improvisation whipping female fans everywhere into a frenzy each time he skates. They're like fire and ice, and in one of their typical bickering, bring disgrace to the sport and are banned from the men's competition for life.

Until a loophole is discovered, and they combine forces, unwillingly, to return to the sport under the pairs competition, irking reigning champions, Van Waldenberg siblings of Stranz (Will Arnett) and Fairchild (Amy Poehler). Threatened by the ludicrous return of Michael Michaels and MacElroy, with their pedigree pairing and stealing of limelight, the movie spends for the most last third of the movie on their unscrupulous tactics, and the cause-effect. Thrown into the fray is Jenna Fischer as Katie Van Waldenberg, who provides some uninspired romantic moments with Heder's Jim, and a faux pas sibling rivalry/woe in some emotional blackmail moments.

As I've mentioned, the movie is a mixed bag. I would have expected Farrell's alpha-comedic role and Heder's for-fodder-role to combine seamlessly and bring on great laughs, but the pairing seem to be diluted instead. The best bits naturally are when each of them start to skate, and then skating together during competition, with plenty of moments for physical jokes - the usual groin and gay no holds barred punches. If you'd ask me to choose who's the funnier of the two, my vote will go to Farrell, and he gets more screentime too. Boom! As compared to the whinier Heder who plays the usual roles quite repeatedly.

Fans of Bo Bice will want to sit through the end credits as he sings the theme Blades of Glory, and stay tuned during the credit roll for an additional (though not so funny) extra involving a deranged obsessive fan.

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