Somewhere it is happening. It is most likely occurring on a college campus somewhere, and it involves that guy we all know. Somewhere that guy is walking up to some random girl and spouting, “I don’t know how to put this but I’m kind of a big deal. People know me. I’m very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.” Why do I know this is happening? Because that is the power of a great Will Ferrell comedy; it stays with you long after you leave the theater. It stays with some longer than others, but the one-liners always stick. And as much of a fan as I have been of these movies (Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Elf, etc.) I have always been wondering when Will Ferrell is going to cross the line and go from dumb funny to just plain dumb. I had thought Blades of Glory would be it, but as Ron Burgundy would say “You are sadly mistaken, my friend.”
Ferrell stars alongside Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) as two World Champion figure skaters who are stripped of their medals and banned from competition for life after fighting like two kindergarteners on the podium while receiving their medals. Upon being banned they are both tossed from the spotlight and left to fend for themselves in the real world. Three and a half years later their paths cross again, and with the help of their coach (played by Craig T. Nelson), they find a way to compete by becoming the first ever all-male pairing.
It is the simple story of two rivals, two polar opposites who are forced to work together to get back on the ice and live out their dreams. Chazz Michael Michaels (Ferrell) is the hot shot, a sauced up sex addict who uses improvisation to win over the throngs of figure skating fans around the world. Jimmy MacElroy (Heder) is the boy wonder, raised by his adopted father to skate with grace and perfect technique. When combined, the two are more than just a figure skating pair, they are a ticking time bomb of hilarious shenanigans just waiting to explode all over any audience.
And that is exactly what happens. This duo, led by comedic titan Will Ferrell, explodes with some of the most raucous fun that you will ever see in a movie about figure skating. With every quip and every snide jab, Ferrell’s delivery is razor sharp and always on time. As with many of his characters in the past, Chazz Michael Michaels takes over the film, leaving everyone else to just start the joke so that he can slam it home. Jon Heder fills the role of set-up man well, playing the na¯ve, snotty elitist to Ferrell’s freeloading, flatulent sex-machine. He ends up as the butt end of many hilarious moments, but that is how they write movies like this, it is Will Ferrell’s show, and that’s what we love to see.
Along with Heder, the rest of the supporting cast just pours on the laughs. Craig T. Nelson is just funny to look at with long hair and a penchant for death defying skating tricks, Nick Swardson absolutely steals the film as Jimmy MacElroy’s creepy stalker and The Office’s Jenna Fischer sizzles as Jimmy’s love interest. Real-life couple Will Arnett and Amy Poehler also add some laughs as the severely over the top incestuous brother-sister skating pair out to destroy Michaels and MacElroy. And on top of it all, some of figure skating’s elite names show up to lend a hand; Nancy Kerrigan, Sasha Cohen and Scott Hamilton all pop up at some point. But of all the celebrity cameos, it is TV announcer Jim Lampley who steals the show with lines like “They put the bone in Zamboni.” I mean, how can you go wrong with that?
In the end it all adds up to one hilarious ride through the incredibly uncomfortable world of man on man figure skating. If you are a Will Ferrell fan, then this is an easy choice. Ferrell shines with an awesome supporting cast and a subject that just bleeds humor. Every crotch grabbing lift, every razor sharp one-liner and every shot of Jenna Fischer in a teddy will have you laughing your ass off and coming back for more. If you dig Will Ferrell in all of his comedic glory, then Blades is a movie that you won’t want to miss this weekend.