Prancing on Ice
As someone who is not over fond of Will Ferrell's movies, or at least those where he takes a lead role, I didn't expect to find "Blades of Glory" entertaining but strangely I did. Don't get me wrong because it is daft, stupid and absurd as it delivers infantile jokes ranging from semi homophobia through to plainly crass. But with Ferrell sharing the lead with Jon Heder "Blades of Glory" is quite good fun, with some funny scenes, some nice special effects and despite being quite juvenile actually makes you laugh.
Having tied for the gold medal ice skating sensations Chaz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell - Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby) and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder - Just Like Heaven) end up brawling on the winners podium as their rivalry spills over. But their bust up ends up getting them banned for life from skating and so head off with Chaz working at some 2 bit skating on ice show and Jimmy working in a sports store. But when a loop hole is discovered they put their differences behind them and pair up to become the first male male ice skating partners and try to win the gold medal they were stripped off.
The storyline itself is quite clever, well sort of, with the two banned skaters forming an unlikely alliance so that they can compete again. Although actually that is probably the only clever thing as semi romances, evil rival skater's brother and sister Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg and the troubled skating relationship is all pretty routine nonsense. But then it all works, giving a sort of purpose for all the humour, the obvious jokes about a male & male skating partnership as well as the various set piece gags and there are a few.
The humour itself is varied and as you would expect for a Will Ferrell movie there are some jokes which for me border on the crass, such as Ferrell strutting around in just a bath towel or when he attends a sex addicts counselling session. They are the sort of juvenile gags which Ferrell likes to deliver. But there are some truly funny moments, many of them quite obvious such as the rather intrusive positions which Chaz and Jimmy have to succumb to when skating together. When Chaz is lifting Jimmy above his head with his hand placed on Jimmy's crotch it's obvious but funny. It also helps with the movie balancing the leads between Heder and Ferrell you get a blend of Ferrell's larger than life gags and Heder's gentler even more inspired humour.
The blend of leads also helps because it stops "Blades of Glory" being just full on Will Ferrell. In fact whilst most of his scenes revolve around his often obvious larger than life persona it's actually slightly restrained to make Chaz Michaels Michael's obnoxious but not to the point where he is also annoying. It works and with Jon Heder playing the more sensitive Jimmy MacElroy to perfection with a sort of whining but pleasant line in humour it succeeds in being a good partnership. Well it works in the context of what is essentially a stupid movie and as such neither performance is brilliant, they just work well together to share the lime light.
Elsewhere there are the likes of Will Arnett and Amy Poehler as brother sister ice skating champs the Van Waldenberg with Jenna Fischer doing a pleasant enough job of playing their put upon sister Katie. Plus William Fichtner and Craig T. Nelson crop up as Jimmy's father and skating coach respectively. To be honest none of them outshine either Will Ferrell or Jon Heder but then none of them put in an inadequate performance.
What this all boils down to is that "Blades of Glory" is surprisingly entertaining, well more entertaining than I expected for a Will Ferrell movie. With a sort of clever storyline, some obvious and also inspired gags around ice skating as well as the unlikely pairing up of two men to become figure skaters there is much about "Blades of Glory" which will make you laugh. Even Will Ferrell is genuinely funny when he is paired up with Jon Heder.