“Blades of Glory” Review

Blades Of Glory

– for crude and sexual humor, language, a comic violent image and some drug references.

Director: Josh Gordon, Will Speck
Starring: Will Ferrell, Jon Heder, Craig T. Nelson
Running Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes
Theatrical Release Date: March 30, 2007
Official Site

Plot Summary
When rival figure skaters Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell) and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) go ballistic in an embarrassing, no-holds-barred fight at the World Championships, they are stripped of their gold medals and banned from the sport for life. Now, three-and-a-half years on, they’ve found a loophole that will allow them to compete: if they can put aside their differences, they can skate together – in pairs’ figure skating. (from MovieWeb.com)

Film Review

It may be hard for movie fans today to realize this as truth, but there once was a time when comedies were smart and sharp without being vulgar or offensive. In fact, and this may be the toughest part to believe, you could actually take your whole family to see a comedy! At this time in film history, there were comedic geniuses like Cary Grant, Bob Hope, and the Marx Brothers. Today, we have actors like Jim Carrey, Will Ferrell, and Adam Sandler. Anyone else notice a little contrast?

Blades Of Glory is the latest unnecessarily crude and vulgar comedy to skate by with a PG-13 rating. The film pairs up actors Will Ferrell and Jon Heder for the first time, which proves to be a surprisingly inspired matchup. Blades Of Glory, however, falters on so many levels, particularly by injecting it with so many frequent sex jokes that not only does it seem random and out of place, but it most of the time is just inappropriate and awkward. The premise of the film, however, is about two male figure skaters who are banned following a disgraceful feud after winning a tie for Gold medals. Years later, the two discover that male figure skating in pairs is a loophole in the system and the men decided to pair up. While a few crude jokes result from this teaming, most of the film’s vulgarity stems from Ferrell’s character Chazz Michael Michaels being a self-proclaimed sex addict, and the filmmakers behind Blades Of Glory don’t let the audience forget it.

The night before I saw Blades Of Glory, I watched a Cary Grant comedy called Talk Of The Town. It’s a fantastic movie and the perfect example of creating a wonderful piece of film that’s wholesome and witty and anyone can enjoy it. Blades Of Glory is nearly the complete opposite. While much of Blades is ridiculously funny, so much of it is over the top and severely distasteful. The most disturbing part about that is knowing how many young people will see Blades Of Glory because of its stars Ferrell and Napoleon Dynamite‘s Heder. The dialog seems to place an emphasis on sexual relationships when the characters are off the ice – from Ferrel’s Chazz attending a sex addicts anonymous meeting to discussing all the famous figure skaters he’s slept with to Heder’s Jimmy. It’s clearly not needed in the film, but takes precedence like most comedies nowadays. What’s odd, is most of it has nothing to do with the fact they’re a male skating duo. In fact, most of the potential gay jokes that could come out of such a situation is toned down without it being much of a topic in the film (which is definitely a plus).

The film also has a shockingly unexpected gory scene that’s played for laughs. While viewing a tape of an infamously difficult skating move being put into practice, we suddenly see the female skater fall to the ground and her head rolls off. We then see a brief closer shot focusing on the resultant blood and “guts” that spilled onto the ice. It’s meant to be funny (and to be honest, it’s such a shocking moment, that it was difficult not to get grossed out and laugh in response at Heder and Ferrell’s expressions as they watch), but it was surprisingly graphic. With the sexual jokes and random violence aside, the plot of the film is pretty original, but does suffer from some forced moments at times. The romance between Jimmy and Katie, who’s played by Jenna Fischer from The Office, is awkward and although Fischer is fantastic in the popular TV series, she isn’t given much material to work with here and seems out of place amongst the cast (although in some ways, that’s probably intended). The romance aspect seemed like an afterthought to attract a wider audience, however it ends up being weaved into the story enough to warrant this one-gag plot to extend to a feature-length film.

What’s sad is a lot of the humor produced between Heder and Ferrell when it’s not being sexual is often quite funny, and their routine together at the end of the film is priceless. The costumes are brilliant, from a peacock-designed outfit that Heder dons at the start of the film, to blinking retro costumes the guys wear at the film’s climax. The film’s funniest moments are mostly visual and physical gags, which makes it all the more frustrating when the dialog turns raunchy. The physical comedy really takes off later in the film as a chase scene takes place on ice skates (on and off the ice), a mascot is caught in the crossfire, and one of the central characters must go to great lengths to get out of being handcuffed to a bathroom stall. Some of it is quite smart and funny, however, there’s so much junk filling in the gaps that it makes the film nearly unwatchable (think Anchorman meets Talladega Nights on ice).

Overall, there were enough funny parts to Blades Of Glory to make the unfunny and vulgar moments all the more bittersweet to have to swallow. Should the sexual dialog have been omitted, this could have easily have been a comedy to revisit. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and instead we have a film aimed at teens and comedy-lovers that is unwholesome to say the least and crude at best. Not one that I can recommend, and one to make sure the family skips altogether.
John DiBiase (reviewed: 4/3/07)

Parental Guide: Content Summary
. Sex/Nudity: Lots of sexually-related dialog, included but not limited to… It’s made known that Chazz is a sex addict, was once a porn star (we see a nonexplicit video cover) and is described as “sex on ice” and we see him make some suggestive dance movements including pelvic thrusting; A woman in the crowd wearing just a bra throws her shirt at Chazz; Chazz tells Nancy Kerrigan seeing her gives him a “boner” and that he’s a sex addict and it’s his “cross to bear;” We see Chazz backstage of a ice show in a robe and with two women on a couch (one of which he kisses) with people making out in the background behind him; While in a jail cell, we see a man behind Chazz and Jimmy pull down his pants and go to the bathroom on a toilet (we don’t see any nudity or hear any related sounds); The coach sarcastically asks if Chazz is “satisfied with $15 hookers” to which Chazz replies that he’s “never satisfied;” Chazz makes a remark that he’s “the rug master” (meant to be innuendo); While practicing, Jimmy and Chazz argue over who will be the “female” in the skating routine. Chazz remarks that he’s stronger and doesn’t “have a vagina,” and later says that Jimmy is “flat in the front just like Ken” (meaning his crotch is like a Ken doll); We see Jimmy in his briefs as he slides across the ice; Chazz quotes lyrics from the Black Eyed Peas song “My Humps” which refer to “humps” and “lady lumps;” In response to the idea of two men skating together, a hot dog vendor shows a bun with two hot dogs in it and asks “Does that look right to you?”; When Jimmy and Chazz first skate together, they try positions that would be normal for a female / male team. We see their awkward facial expressions as Chazz lifts Jimmy up at the crotch, the two skate with Jimmy’s face at Chazz’s crotch and his crotch at Chazz’s face, and Chazz spinning Jimmy around with the latter’s crotch met at the former’s, ending with the two crashing into each other’s crotches; We see Chazz wearing only a towel riding low on his hip. We even see him lower it a little bit further to reveal a tattoo. He and Jimmy then discuss the different tattoos and which girls they represent that he’s slept with; Chazz forces Jimmy to call Katie while Stranz and Fairchild force her to talk to him. Chazz tries to feed Jimmy dialog while Katie’s siblings do the same, with innuendo and suggestive remarks resulting. Katie lies and says she just got out of the shower and Chazz makes Jimmy say that he was doing squat thrusts and there’s talking of burning thighs and putting cream on them. Katie is also told to say that she will get “jugs waxed;” When asked what they have together that other pairings don’t, Chazz remarks “twin dongs;” Jimmy’s skate accidentally cuts Chazz’s pants near the crotch and he makes a comment about how he needs to use his “balls” unlike Jimmy; We see Katie in a small skirt and later Jimmy and Katie awkwardly kiss; After his date with Katie, Chazz asks Jimmy if he “carved up any ice” with his “weiner;” Stranz and Fairchild force Katie to use Chazz and try to sleep with him. She agrees too, but ends up not; We see Chazz in a sex addicts anonymous meeting and we see a woman getting aroused as he speaks about his problem (then he gets aroused as she speaks). Katie shows up (as part of her sibling’s ploy) and she lies that she is a sex addict and has sex a lot. She invites Chazz back to her place and outside of the meeting building the instructor asks couples who are making out to break it up. We then see some people stop and one man pops up from behind a bush and zips his pants up before running off; As Chazz approaches Katie’s place, he recites the creed from his class and states that he won’t sleep with his friend’s girlfriend and that masturbation is a solution. We then see Katie in skimpy lingerie and she tries to convince him to sit on the bed with her. He’s torn because he doesn’t want to hurt Jimmy, but he then grabs her chest. Jimmy then walks in and sees this, flips out (calling him a “sex demon”) and leaves; Some other references to them not sleeping together are made by various characters; Chazz yells out in front of an arena of fans that Katie is not a “whore” and apologizes for what he felt; Sasha Cohen catches Chazz’s jock strap and delightfully smells it; Jimmy does some suggestive moves on the ice; We see a paramedic showing a lot of cleavage; Jimmy and Katie passionately kiss and when she remarks that he’s been practicing, Jimmy says Chazz taught him a few things; Fairchild and Stranz kiss passionately despite being brother and sister
. Vulgarity/Language: 7 “s” words, 11 “a” words, 1 “a**h-le,” 1 “g*dd*mn,” 1 “J-sus,” 9 “d*mn,” 7 “h*ll,” 2 “cr*p,” 2 “b*tch,” 1 “S.O.B.,” 8 derivatives of “G-d” Chazz and Jimmy give each other the middle finger; Chazz gives Stranz the finger
. Alcohol/Drugs: Chazz drinks a lot and we see him drunk a few times; In one scene, as he works as a mascot on ice, we hear him throwing up inside his mask and then see some resultant puke on his face. He then takes the mask off and we briefly see him puke more; A comment is made about Chazz getting stoned with other cast members; Chazz shows Jimmy a tattoo of him on his arm and when he asks if Chazz was drunk when he got it, he confirms he was.
. Blood/Gore: Chazz and Jimmy have a little blood on their face after a fight; As Chazz works as a mascot on ice, we hear him throwing up inside his mask and then see some resultant puke on his face. He then takes the mask off and we briefly see him puke more; We see Jimmy with dried blood from his nose all over his mouth and chin; Jimmy takes off his shirt and slides across the ice on his bare chest. We then see a little blood on his chest afterwards; While viewing a tape of an infamously difficult skating move being put into practice, we suddenly see the female skater fall to the ground and her head rolls off. We then see a brief closer shot focusing on the resultant blood and “guts” that spilled onto the ice; Chazz has a bruise on his head after Stranz hits him
. Violence: Comedic violence, including fighting, punching, a mascot accidentally catching on fire; another getting hit by a harpoon gun; some video footage of a skater getting accidentally decapitated; etc.

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