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Blades of Glory (2007)
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Review Date: September 28, 2007
Director: Josh Gordon, Will Speck
Writer: Jeff Cox, Craig Cox, John Altschuler, Dave Krinsky
Producers: Ben Stiller, John Jacobs, Stuart Cornfeld
Actors:
Will Ferrell as Chazz
Jon Heder as Jimmy
Will Arnett as Stranz
Plot:
Two top-notch American figure skaters are banned from competition after they get into a scrap after tying for a gold medal. The duo’s lives turn southbound in a major way after their respective exiles from the sport, but a loophole in the skating rules allow them to compete again, but only if they skate with one another, as opposed to against. Hilarity, some ice-skating and a shot of Will Ferrell grabbing Jenna Fisher boob…ensues.
Critique:
Will Ferrell is on a tear on the big screen with ANCHORMAN solidifying his place in the pantheon of classic comedies, TALLADEGA NIGHTS doing more of the same and adding a little bit of “sporty spice” and now BLADES OF GLORY certifying his ability to consistently make us laugh with his arrogant, dimwitted and macho lead characters all essentially emulating one another, but at the same time, coming through with a new twist in the story and interpretation. As per the former films, this one also adds around Ferrell an impressive supporting cast that makes sure that the movie isn’t a one-man show or boring whenever he isn’t on the screen with the rival brother/sister team of Will Arnett and Amy Poehler providing a fun adversarial point of view, while the always innocently hot Jenna Fisher gives the film its required romance angle. Craig T. Nelson also adds some weight to the movie as the duo’s inspiring coach, and the great William Fichtner kicks ass early on, as an ambitiously cold-hearted businessman/father (is there any other kind?).

Ferrell’s co-star in the film, Jon Heder, also comes through as the more grounded skating professional in the movie, and while his role is obviously not the more “showy” of the two, he manages to turn him into a fun, dainty character that will hopefully help him move further away from the character he’s best known for: Napoleon Dynamite. And while I’ve spent most of my review discussing the film’s many characters/actors, all of whom created an excellent dynamic, the movie is successful due mostly to its screenplay which is ripe with humour from the film’s first sequence, all the way to its last. After its initial 20-minute laugh-attack, I was worried that the flick would slow down or run out of that same level of comedy, but kudos to the screenwriters (and possibly the actors, who seemed like they might’ve ad-libbed some stuff) for continually injecting the movie with hilarious one-liners, at least 10 quotable pieces of memorable dialogue, many funny situations and surprisingly, very funny skating routines to boot (I thought this part of the film would bore me, but it was quite the opposite actually).

On a personal note, it was nice to see my hometown of Montreal, Canada used in the film (they shot the entire movie there), although American filmmakers really have to drop the stereotypical Canadian mounties routine. I’ve lived in Canada for close to 30 years now and I don’t think I’ve ever seen one mountie in my life, except in American movies! This film reminded me a lot of ZOOLANDER with its many memorable lines, the chemistry between all of its characters and all of its showdowns and I look forward to adding it to my DVD collection and watching it over again some day. If you haven’t seen it yet and have enjoyed Ferrell’s previous comedic successes before, this one is a no-brainer. And allow me to repeat one of the film’s funnier play-on-words and say that these guys really do put the “bone” in Zamboni. Great fun!
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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