Blades Of Glory (2007)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 5/28/07
Cast: Will Ferrell, Jon Heder, Craig T. Nelson, Jenna Fischer

After pro figure skaters Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell) and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) are banned from the sport for competitive misconduct, skating coach Craig Nelson decides to groom them as a radical and controversial figure skating pair. But getting the skaters' egos, personalities, and styles to work together is a Herculean task, which is further complicated by the coach's personal desire to perform a highly dangerous maneuver known as the Iron Lotus. As the team of Michaels and MacElroy overcomes their internal struggles and becomes a legitimate sensation, they find themselves in danger from the external threat of another figure skating pair, the dirty and devious Van Waldenburgs. Schemes are hatched, dirty deals go down, betrayals are engineered, and friendships are tested as the final showdown between the two teams takes place.

Not a movie that I would see on my own, but I was pleasantly surprised and found it consistently enjoyable. The comedic pairing of Will Ferrell's brash arrogance and Jon Heder's innocent nerdiness makes for a highly dynamic relationship of crude humor and visual gags. Both actors fully embrace their characters and go over the top to push the limits of good taste. The film is a vicious lampoon of the entire figure skating community, where no one is spared and nothing is sacred. Lots of real pro skaters show up in cameo roles and nearly all of them are slandered. Perhaps the most shocking scene is when Sasha Cohen catches Michaels' thrown jock-strap and enthusiastically screams "I love you Chazz!" That seemed like a bit of a professional risk to me, but maybe I'm just old and overly sensitive about such things. To the untrained eye, the skating looks quite good, and the use of stunt doubles for Ferrell and Heder is seamless. The skate routines are also completely outrageous, with the most tasteless award going to the Van Waldenburg's pairing of JFK and Marilyn Monroe. As you would expect, the underdogs emerge triumphant while the schemers are exposed and publicly humiliated. Everything is great up until the last 30 seconds of the film where the filmmakers decided to snort that one extra line and tack on a bizarre and inexplicable sci-fi ending, as if struggling for a way to bring the film to a close. It totally does not work and invalidates a good portion of what the film had already built up. Overall, if you're a fan of Ferrell or Heder and enjoy crude homophobic humor, "Blades Of Glory" is a fun time with some guaranteed chuckles.