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Sun April 1, 2007
Blades of Glory
a few Ferrell funny moments
By John DeSando, WCBE's It's Movie Time
A bit of ballet, precision, and dignity accrue to figure skating, a small world where civility dances with ability. Enter Will Ferrell, the deflator of formula racing and TV broadcasting (among other occupations), to skewer the rarefied competition of Olympic figure skating.
Joining Jon Heder of Napoleon Dynamite slacker blasting, Ferrell's mock machismo makes him the Tom Jones and Heder the Owen Wilson of ice. Ferrell's Chazz Michael Michaels and Heder's Jimmy MacElroy are disqualified from competition because of their infantile public combat. They reconcile in time to enter competition as a team.
As in most Ferrell outings, the laughs are sparse but satisfactory for a lightly satirical evening at the movies. Some outrageous bits such as flames shooting from Chazz's palms and a beheading during an extreme act evoke laughs if only for their audacity, not to mention the Sex Addicts Anonymous meeting where Chazz can barely contain his abstinence.
A bit of gay bashing is requisite in comedies today, and two men skating begs for the satire, yet Blades of Glory does little of it in favor of its roasting pretentious figure skating. The innuendos for the brother and sister team, bitter and unethical rivals of the boys, provide tantalizing hints of incest as well. But mostly it's Ferrell's self inflating character that carries the film.
The climactic competition, you guessed it: between the boys and the brother/sister team, concludes with an amusingly outrageous assault on JFK and Marilyn Monroe (albeit way too short to do justice to the possible outrages such a satire could yield), an affront to those who revere those icons, a delight to those who see pretense and revisionist history as fair game for SNL and Will Ferrell. Blades of Glory is not going to be the comedy of the year, but it will provide laughs anyway.
John DeSando teaches film at Franklin University and co-hosts WCBE 90.5's It's Movie Time, which can be heard streaming at www.wcbe.org Fridays at 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm and on demand anytime. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.RR.com