DreamWorks' Blades of Glory-Will Ferrell Carries a Strange, Sometimes Fun, Overstuffed Mess

Kick some ice.

Blades of Glory is a 2007 sports-comedy film directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck, written by Jeff and Craig Cox, John Altschuler, and Dave Krinsky, produced by DreamWorks Pictures, MTV Films, Red Hour, and Smart Entertainment, and distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film stars Will Ferrell and Jon Heder. It was not nominated for any Academy Awards.


"Mind-bottling, isn't it?" -Chazz Michael Michaels

Plot


Jimmy MacElroy and Chazz Micheal Michaels are archival figure skaters. They hate each other with a burning passion, and it is put on display after they tie for a gold medal. During the award ceremony, they break out into a fight and are banished from singles figure skating forever. Three years later, Jimmy and Chazz learn that they can skate again...but in a pair. When neither of them are able to find a woman to pair with, they team up to redeem themselves and win the gold.


Review


The movie begins with a skating scene over opening credits. We see a young Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) skating on ice with a bunch of other kids at an orphanage. He gets adopted for his skating skill, and we have a really cool transition into the future. We see Jimmy skating competitively, and I immediately drew attention to his costume. It looks horrific. It's this long, flowing, peacock leotard that is incredibly distracting, not funny, and dumb looking. We see Jimmy skate some more and notice that he is very elegant.


When Jimmy's routine is done, the announcers of the broadcast give us Jimmy's backstory. This was the laziest exposition and the worst way for us to get Jimmy's backstory. They might as well have had one of the directors appear on screen and tell us his life story. This was lazy writing and weak direction.


After the backstory, we see Jimmy sitting on a bench with his coach and adoptive father. Then we get introduced to Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell), the best part of the movie. Ferrell's performance is the only thing that holds this movie together, so good casting decision. The only problem with him as Chazz Michael Michaels is that his skating routine is laughable. It is not convincing and really terrible. They also have a bunch of close-ups with obvious green screens, so that looks bad, too.


During Ferrell's skating routine, he does a bunch of sexual movements that made me realize what his character was. Part of the reason that this isn't a good movie is that it relies on bad sex jokes to evoke laughs from the audience. That isn't funny.


So we finish Chazz's performance and find out that Jimmy and Chazz tied for a gold medal. Since they hate each other, they break out into a fight that gets them both banned from singles skating for eternity. They each lose their medals and their pride. We skip forward three and a half years, and we see that Chazz has evolved into a rambling drunk that skates for kids shows and still makes horrible sex jokes. He gets fired after appearing drunk on stage and scaring all these kids off.


We go to check on Jimmy and see that he works for a sports store. After getting yelled at by his boss, he is visited by his creepy stalker, Hector. This was a strange way to give Jimmy the information that would drive the rest of the movie, but I guess it works well enough. Hector tells Jimmy that he was just banned for singles skating, and he can skate again in a pair. Jimmy goes to his old coach (Craig T. Nelson) for help, but Coach Robert leaves him hanging. While looking for a partner, Jimmy runs into Chazz and they get into another physical fight.


The fight is recorded on the news, and Coach Robert watches it. Then he slows it down and sees that they look like elegant skates when fighting. This was the singular worst way to discover that Chazz and Jimmy could be partners, and I was not a fan. They are put in a holding cell at the police station and Robert goes to meet them in the cell. Chazz had a few pretty funny lines in this scene, but it was elevated by Will Ferrell's portrayal of Chazz.


We go to the house of Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg (Will Arnett and Amy Poehler), the main antagonists of the film, and it was at this point that I wondered: Why is every man in this movie overly girly? Stranz Van Waldenberg is wearing an earring and a pink suit with sequins that looks so weird. I'm not saying that it is a bad thing for guys to wear pink shirts with sequins, but the way that they portray this almost feels like they are making fun of trans and gay people.


In this scene, we also meet their soft-spoken sister, Katie (Jenna Fischer). There are a couple of pretty funny parts in this scene, mainly Stranz caressing the polar bear rug that he is laying on top of. Poehler and Arnett totally embrace the ridiculousness of this film, and it is fun to watch them.


We go to a cabin that Jimmy and Chazz are staying in, and we get some good banter between the two of them. We get more funny lines from Chazz and more annoying, whiny lines from Jimmy, and it was at this point that I decided I did not like Jon Heder's performance. He is very annoying and unlikable, and it is a shame that he was the actor that they put on screen with Will Ferrell.


There's the usual cliche training montage, but I will say that there were some good and funny parts in here. Then we transition into the qualifier for the skating championship. Chazz and Jimmy skating together is the only sexual part that I found funny, just because of the facial expressions given by both Heder and Ferrell when they were touching each other. There were still obvious green screens, and the scene fell apart for me when Chazz all the sudden turns into Jimmy's friend. The transition is out of left field and is not well executed at all. It literally happens in one second. One second they hate each other, the next they are besties.


Jimmy begins talking to Katie Van Waldenberg, and there is clear romantic tension between them. Jimmy and Chazz go back to the cabin and this was one of the best scenes in the movie. Jimmy wants to call Katie and ask her out, and we get a bunch of love coaching from Chazz. Once again, this scene is fantastic only because of Will Ferrell. Jimmy and Katie set a time and place for their date.


Coach Robert shows Jimmy and Chazz the Iron Lotus, a dangerous ice skating move that can either win you the gold medal or get your partner decapitated. After a training session with dummies, Jimmy goes out with Katie. We get some absolutely abysmal dialogue from them. The romance is flat, there is no chemistry between Fischer and Heder, and it is an overall terrible couple.


After the date, Stranz and Fairchild tell Katie that they need her to cheat on Jimmy with Chazz so that they can break their team up. We go to a sex addict support group where Chazz is, and we revisit the overuse of sexual jokes. Katie hits on Chazz and tells him to meet her at 11:55 after she had told Jimmy to meet her at 12:00. Chazz visits Katie and tries not to have sex with her, which he succeeds at. Unfortunately, Jenna Fischer is really bad in this role. I love her as Pam, but she displays zero emotion and just an overall monotonous performance. Jimmy walks in on Chazz touching Katie's boobs, and he runs out with a girly scream that is terrible.


Chazz runs after Jimmy, but can't catch him. He runs back to their hotel room and proceeds to call Jimmy in the best scene of the film. This is solely Will Ferrell, who leaves Jimmy about forty voicemails, all with different, hilarious messages. It is truly a great and funny scene.


The next day, we get into the skating championship. Chazz is late and hops in a cab, only to be knocked out and kidnapped by Stranz. This is where the movie lost all credibility and became a mess. It can't decide what it wants to be and whether it wants to take itself seriously. Fairchild captures Jimmy and handcuffs him to a toilet. Chazz escapes and Stranz chases after him. While this is happening, Jimmy is eating toilet paper to get the key to his handcuffs.


Chazz falls into thin ice and Stranz presumes that he is dead. Stranz and Fairchild perform their routine. Jimmy is able to escape the bathroom and arrives at the rink, and they begin waiting for Chazz. He is able to escape the ice and arrive, covered in snow and crap. He and Jimmy yell to each other across the packed stadium and then he has this "magical dress change", at which point the movie basically converted into a fantasy movie.


Chazz and Jimmy perform their routine, but Chazz breaks his ankle after Fairchild sabotages them. He can't perform the Iron Lotus, so Jimmy does, and they land it. They win, and we get the aftermath of everything. Chazz begins crying after being interviewed, and this was where the movie just crashed and burned. Stranz and Fairchild are arrested, they slap each other, then they make out. Katie and Jimmy make up. Jimmy and Chazz accept their gold, then they use their skates to fly away.


The movie just derails in the end, which contributed big time to my final score.


Final Score


Despite a great performance from Will Ferrell, Blades of Glory relies too much on sex jokes and Jon Heder for anything to work well enough. The ending loses it and solidifies this as a bad film.


I will give it a Sour rating. Age range is 10+.


SWEET N' SOUR SCALE

Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad)

Moldy (Terrible)


"Blades of Glory"


Fun Factor: 7/10

Acting: 7/10

Story: 5/10

Characters: 5/10

Quality: 5.5/10


Directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck


Rated PG-13 for sexual content, thematic elements, and some minor violence


Released on March 30, 2007


1 hour and 33 minutes


Will Ferrell as Chazz Michael Michaelas

Jon Heder as Jimmy MacElroy

Jenna Fischer as Katie Van Waldenberg

Craig T. Nelson as Coach Robert

Amy Poehler as Fairchild Van Waldenberg

Will Arnett as Stranz Van Waldenberg

Nick Swardson as Hector