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Will Ferrell on Fire With Blades of Glory

Published March 30, 2007 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Images property of DreamWorks Pictures.
Blades of Glory Poster Blades of Glory
It may be ice, but Will Ferrell is on fire. That's right, I said it. Blades of Glory is Will Ferrell's best movie since Elf. This wild and silly romp is an heir to Dodgeball in the sports movie pantheon.

Review: Blades of Glory

As if you need to know anything more than "Will Ferrell as an ice skater," Blades of Glory is about rival figure skaters Chazz Michael Michaels (Ferrell) and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder). They get thrown out of the sport for fighting but learn to work together to compete as a team, because they're allowed to compete in any other division that they weren't expelled from.

Will Ferrell and Jon Heder are a perfect match. Heder gives Ferrell totally serious reactions to the ridiculous things he says, and offers more material on which Ferrell can build. As Chazz talks about bottling his mind, Jimmy picks apart the expression, only leading Chazz to say more nonsense with complete confidence.

Chazz is a classic Ferrell character, totally committing to ridiculous and blatantly incorrect expressions, complete with flowing hair and a drunken swagger, licking faces and stripping with no fear. Jimmy may be a fey stereotype but at least it's not Napoleon. Heder actually makes him innocent enough that it goes beyond the stunted, sexless child.

The film revels in being so wrong it's glorious, with horrific family abandonment issues played like acceptable sports movie beats, and a stalker's practical concerns as a real dilemma. Like Dodgeball, Blades plays like regular sports movie, only the big revelation is a ridiculous bitch fight and the announcers reference pornos as a normal part of their commentary.

Since all of the characters are, well, characters, the film could run the risk of being a cartoon. But it stays grounded enough in the real sport, thanks largely to cameos by real skaters who lend the film credibility, and play straight in the face of this nonsense. The coach and the love interest kind of ground the film too. They get their funny moments but they could possibly exist in the sport, as opposed to Jimmy and Chazz.

The film is well shot with hardcore sports techniques, zooms into dramatic moments and speed ramping for the money shots. The visual effects create outlandish skating tricks that are funny, and pretty awesome.

I can't think of a real closer here, but Blades of Glory was just really funny, in a skillful way. This isn't just luck. It's performers at the top of their game and filmmakers who know the right tone.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Images property of DreamWorks Pictures.

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