Blades of Glory Review
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Figure skating rivals Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) and Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell) may skate for the same country, but they couldn’t hate each other more. So when the two tie for a gold medal, they start a brawl on the podium. Stripped of their gold medals and banned from figure skating, the two try to get by any way they can.

Three and a half years later, Jimmy’s obsessive fan, Hector (Nick Swardson), announces that he’s found a loophole in the rules—and while Jimmy was banned from singles figure skating, he can still compete in the pairs competition. With just days to the deadline for Nationals, Jimmy begins his search for the perfect female partner—but, in the meantime, he ends up running into his old nemesis, Chazz, and starting another brawl that ends the pair behind bars. That’s when Jimmy’s coach (Craig T. Nelson) comes up with a crazy idea—Jimmy and Chazz can become the first male-male figure skating pair. It’s pretty much the last hope for both of the skaters, so they reluctantly agree—but if they’re going to beat the favorites, brother-sister pair Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg (Will Arnett and Amy Poehler), they’re going to have to get over their hatred of one another and learn to work together. But when Jimmy starts to fall for Stranz and Fairchild’s little sister, Katie (Jenna Fischer), trouble starts to brew.

Despite my undying and perhaps misguided love of Will Ferrell, I was worried that Jon Heder (recently known for such classics as School for Scoundrels and The Benchwarmers) would ruin Blades of Glory with his inability to play anyone but Napoleon Dynamite. But while Heder still isn’t a talented actor (this time, he plays Napoleon Dynamite on skates, in a pretty sequined outfit)—and while I still think Owen Wilson would have been better in the role—I’ll give him this much: he isn’t nearly as irritating in Blades of Glory as he could be. And though I also feared that the movie would be overflowing with bad gay jokes, there aren’t nearly as many as I expected. The filmmakers wisely downplay it, allowing a few jokes without going too far. That’s not to say the humor isn’t over-the-top and, at times, fantastically ridiculous. It just means that the writers chose not to beat a dead [gay] horse. And I sincerely appreciate that decision.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by Blades of Glory. Although it has plenty of cliché plotlines and jokes that have been done before (in fact, there’s a Louis-Armstrong-goes-to-the-moon joke that I’d just heard the night before in Meet the Robinsons)—it’s still good for a few hearty laughs. Ferrell and Heder work pretty well together, and the humor is solid enough to keep you entertained for the entire hour and a half. The characters are fun, the story is amusing, and there are all kinds of figure skater cameos. It’s not a must-see, but if you’re looking for a laugh or two, you won’t have a hard time finding them here.

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