The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
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Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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Ferrell and Heder kick some ice in ‘Blades of Glory’

Alright, I won’t waste anytime with this one. No dancing around what you’re all obviously here to read about. No fancy introductions or metaphors really need to be made anyway. After all, what this is really all about is the new Will Ferrell comedy, “Blades of Glory.”

Opening in the vein of a classic sports film, Olympic-ish announcers introduce the audience to the top two male figure skaters in the world, and wouldn’t you know it- they’re rivals. Will Ferrell stars as Chazz Michael Michaels, the self-proclaimed “bad boy/lone wolf” of male figure skating, who’s from the wrong side of the tracks. Jon Heder co-stars as Ferrell’s polar opposite, Jimmy MacElroy, an effeminate orphan adopted by billionaire Darren MacElroy (William Fichtner) who’s trained since age 6 to be a figure-skating champion.

The two meet up at the Winter Sports Games male skating competition, and when both tie for first place a fight on the podium gets them kicked out of figure skating forever. So where to go from here? Michaels takes up alcoholism and sex addiction along with a job as a magical wizard in a children’s ice show, and MacElroy, after being abandoned by his adopted father, is working a menial job at a local skate shop.

But soon everything changes when MacElroy’s biggest fan and most determined stalker Hector, the hilarious Nick Swardson (“Grandma’s Boy”), finds a loophole that allows to him to compete. The only catch: it has to be in men’s doubles. Obviously, hilarity ensues. As do a million homoerotic jokes.

Next, MacElroy and Michaels, both at the bottom of their careers, decide to put aside differences and do it to win that elusive gold medal. So in true sports-film fashion, the two spend the next month in rigorous training for the Olympics, which are only a month a way from the qualifying rounds.

Finally it’s time to see the duo skate together. With the theme of their routine as “fire and ice,” MacElroy and Michaels perform some moves that would have Greco roman’s swooning. Initially the crowd is breathless, shocked at what they’re seeing, but of course a dynamite move changes all of that and they are catapulted back to the top of figure skating.

But there’s just one problem: they’re stepping into the territory of brother-sister skating powerhouse Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg (Will Arnett and Amy Poehler). Obviously, without giving too much away, more conflict, more stereotypical sports parody.

Directed by the nearly unheard-of team of Josh Gordon and Will Speck, “Blades of Glory” is a sometimes uneven, thinly plotted Will Ferrell classic. Comparisons will undoubtedly be made immediately to films like “Anchorman” and “Talladega Nights,” and don’t panic, but this is a totally different movie. But that’s a good thing. You can’t keep running the same shtick for too long before it gets lazy and pathetic. And while Ferrell greatly relies on the same amount of improvisation and sleazy humor as he did in previous comedies, he isn’t running on empty yet. Ferrell and crew transform an otherwise mediocre script and iffy premise into comedic gold.

It isn’t Ferrell alone, though, who carries the movie; this is one of the best ensemble casts I’ve seen in a long time. Poehler (“SNL”) and Arnett (“Arrested Development”) nearly steal the movie as the brother-sister pairs figure skaters, with an unspoken sexual tension between them. And Craig T. Nelson reprising his role as a coach for the Michaels/MacElroy team is priceless.

Overall “Blades of Glory” is well worth the price of admission. Heder isn’t going to win any awards for comedy in this one, but he isn’t just doing the same lame “Napoleon Dynamite” routine anymore, either. The skating and costumes are over the top (especially Poehler and Arnett’s “tribute to the streetz”), along with some of the acting, but in the end every fault is fairly forgivable. You might not leave with as many quotes to shrilly repeat into oblivion as you did when leaving Ferrell’s previous films, but this one ought to last you through the summer.

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