Step Brothers (2008) starring Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Mary Steenburgen, Richard Jenkins, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn, Andrea Savage directed by Adam McKay Movie Review

Step Brothers (2008)   3/53/53/53/53/5

John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell in Step Brothers

Brotherly Love

My opinion of Will Ferrell's movies seems to be totally opposite to everyone else's, those which seem popular I dislike and those which people tend to criticise I like. So with that little titbit of info it's probably no shock that I like "Step Brothers" and once again I like it partly because Will Ferrell shares the limelight with someone, in this case John C. Reilly and so it never becomes a one man show. I also like the humour in "Step Brothers" as whilst we have plenty of stupidity the actual comedy of a couple of man childs becoming step brothers is fun. Maybe it is all very simple and obvious, not what some expect from Ferrell, but the simplicity makes it work.

Brennan Huff (Will Ferrell - Blades of Glory) is 39 and still lives at home with his mum, Dale Doback (John C. Reilly - Talladega Nights) is 40 and he still lives at home with his dad. And that is not the only thing they have in common as when their parents meet and marry they become step brothers. But with them behaving like little kids and not getting on, as well as sharing a room life is hard in the new family home. That is until they are given an ultimatum by their father, they either grow up and get jobs or they are out. And just to add to there problems Brennah's brother Derek (Adam Scott) spots an opportunity to make their life more of a misery by talking Mr. Doback (Richard Jenkins) into selling the family home and taking early retirement. Can the two man childs man up and get jobs and stop behaving like little boys or will it be mission impossible?

Mary Steenburgen and Richard Jenkins in Step Brothers

"Step Brothers" is almost a movie of opposites as you have the almost clever with the crass. The almost clever is transposing the turbulence of young boys making friends, going through the stand off, the trying to out do each other, fighting before becoming best buddies but having it with two grown men who haven't grown up. I say clever but it's more cleverly amusing because all of this the boasting, the winding up and so much more is typical of two young boys who meet for the first time and to watch two adults doing what two young boys do is just fun.

But whilst this semi cleverness fills the first half of the movie you then get the opposite and the dire other half as we basically have these 40 year old boys having to grow up and become men. It's dull in comparison to the first half and feels desperate by the time the ending comes. If only the second half had managed to be as clever and as amusing as the first half "Step Brothers" would have been more memorable.

Then there is the comedy and watching two grown men behaving like little boys is funny because it is embellished reality. You can't but help laugh when they argue and try and say mean things to each other whilst also out doing each other. Yet you then get the opposite the extreme and the crass such as supposed humour about sleep walking and a certain scene featuring white dog poo. Maybe some will find this cringe worthy comedy fun but it is certainly not clever and is certainly acquired taste.

And the opposites continue on to the performances as both Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are on fine form as Brennah and Dale delivering the comedy of man childs brilliantly from the sulks to the arguments and both Mary Steenburgen and Richard Jenkins do a fun job as their parents. But then whilst intentionally an annoying character Adam Scott is too annoying as Brennah's brother Derek.

What this all boils down to is that "Step Brothers" is a movie of opposites for everything that is good and amusing there is something which isn't. But it works and "Step Brothers" is a movie that you can easily like especially with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly working well together and stopping it from feeling like a one man show.