Blades of Glory

September 7th, 2007 by Ghost

blades-of-glory-poster-1.jpg

Already humorous in its overblown Bedazzled pomposity, the easy target sport of figure skating should be ripe for comedy picking. Like Dodgeball, Blades of Glory aims to have a few laughs at the expense of a lesser known sport; lampooning everything from the athletes and their fans to the uniforms worn in competition. Completely unlike Dodgeball however, Blades tries it’s hardest to leave your patience and sense of humor bleeding to death on the ice.

Will Ferrell plays the same character he’s been playing since Saturday Night Live, an arrogant overcompensating lit fuse; this time its gold medal figure skater Chazz Michael Michaels, the outlaw of figure skating world. If you’ve seen one Will Ferrell performance you’ve seen them all. Michaels is just Ricky Bobby or Ron Burgundy in a different wig. Ferrell can do different characters, but he keeps returning to the same tired old well. Maybe the man is being stretched too thin or maybe he’s not the comedy savior that everyone seems to believe him to be. Either way, the routine is predictable, shallow, and safe for Ferrell.

As Michaels rival/soon to be partner Jimmy MacElroy, Jon Heder fairs only slightly better. Not exactly Napoleon Dynamite, but not really much of anything else either, MacElroy is, as is pointed out in the film, the ice to Michaels fire. Heder has yet to step out of Napoleon’s shadow but he seems to be trying here. MacElroy isn’t quite as clueless as Heder’s star making character, but he also isn’t different enough to brand Heder as anything other than a one trick pony just yet.

The fast and loose plot is of little consequence, Michaels and MacElroy are banned from competition after getting into a brawl at the awards ceremony in Stockholm. Cut to three years later and they’ve both hit rock bottom. Michaels is skating in a children’s production as a wizard and MacElroy is selling skates at a sporting goods shop. After being sent to the stock room (with a curiously CGI looking loading dock) MacElroy is confronted by his previously established stalker and informed that, while he can never skate singles competitively again, he’s still eligible for doubles competition. After a chance meeting with Michaels and some pleading by skating coach Craig T. Nelson, Michaels and MacElroy are back on the circuit, much to the ire of the incestual Van Waldenberg sibling team, played to some effect by Amy Poehler and Will Arnett.

Also of note is Jenna Fischer as Katie Van Waldenberg, the maligned younger Van Waldenberg sibling who, since the death of their parents, has become something of a slave to her brother and sister. Fischer, while bubbly and cute enough to be believable as MacElroy’s love interest, seems to have her gears set firmly to Pam Beesly, her mousy, comfortable character from the US version of The Office. Fisher fell into the same rut as everyone else involved which is a shame because a little extra effort would have really made her shine against the blandness of the other performances.

The film manages to hit all of the requisite highs and lows of the sports movie genre; failure, training scene, setback, and eventual triumph. The problem, though, and its a major one, is the movie just isn’t funny. None of it is funny. There’s some inherent humor in the blatant homoeroticism, a few genuine jokes here and there, and one mildly clever chase sequence, but the majority of the film is one failed joke and after the next. And for God’s sake, can Will Ferrell please keep his shirt on in the future? It wasn’t funny the first time he took it off and it isn’t funny here. Move on Will; grow. You’re capable of better. Those that were there at the beginning know you can break out of this lackluster mold.

Blades of Glory is terrible. The only thing saving it from getting an absolute zero (pun alert) is the Queen-scored-sci fi-themed final performance of Michaels and MacElroy. Flash might be a miracle, but this film is a curse.

*½

Buy from Amazon.com : Blades of Glory
Buy from Amazon.ca : Blades of Glory

Posted in Movie Reviews

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.