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Blades of Glory

I imagine the whole thing probably began with some guys sitting around with nothing better to do than channel surf. Coming across one of those figure skating competitions that randomly run from time to time, someone says, “dude, is there anyway that ice skating could be any gayer?” They all chuckle stupidly at the question but one of them thinks to himself, “yes…yes it could”.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. This genius decides the idea is so great that it should be made into a movie. That thought sets into motion a chain of events that in the end suckers in a bunch of otherwise funny people, puts them in outlandish costumes and wigs, and gives them a quota of at least one sexually crude gag every twenty seconds. In the end they churn out a movie that makes its joke in the first ten minutes and spends the next eighty repeating it over and over again.

With so much time and energy devoted to finding ways for the main characters to end up in homoerotic positions during their skating routines, there’s not a lot left over for a storyline. Jimmy MacElroy (John Heder) is an orphaned figure skating child prodigy who is taken in by a billionaire whose hobby is adopting successful child athletes. Brought up in a Hello Kitty sort of world full of rainbow Skittles and happy dreams, his passion for skating is matched only by his love of glitter lip gloss and Cheryl Tiegs hairstyles. His arch nemesis is Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell), the sexaholic bad boy of ice skating. Combining his talents for double axles and ripping off his jock strap, Chazz stands for everything Jimmy hates. The only things they have in common are a love of skating and an obsession with their hair.

A tie for first place at the world national competition is more than Jimmy and Chazz can handle and they end up brawling on the winner’s stand, a stunt that gets them both banned for life. Thanks to a loophole in the rules, the two discover they can get back into the game by joining forces to compete in pairs figure skating. Jimmy’s old coach (Craig T. Nelson) helps the boys overcome their differences as they train for the challenge of facing the top duo in the world, the near-incestuous brother sister team of Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg (Will Arnett and Amy Poehler).

The story isn’t without its funny moments, but they’re so spread out or so regularly repeated that the film really only amounts to two or three clever Saturday Night Live skits extended way too long. It’s like a spandex costume stretched too tight over Will Ferrell’s drooping gut, which is something else you’re compelled to look at for painful amounts of the movie. The only things worse are the times the spandex comes off and the audience is treated to Ferrell in a thong. At least he had the decency to stick to boxers and briefs for Talladega Nights.

Speaking of Ricky Bobby, I imagine some people will be expecting something of that caliber yet again. Not a chance. More crude and less clever, Blades of Glory has more in common with other MTV flicks, hovering somewhere between Dodgeball and Jackass 2. Ferrell isn’t on his game comedically and his improvised scenes feel half-hearted. Everyone else in the movie hits their one comedic note over and over again, bashing the audience with the humor like Tanya Harding on Nancy Kerrigan. It’s a step backwards for the whole cast, especially Craig T. Nelson who spends most of the film sporting a Jean Luc Picard mullet. He didn’t get paid enough for that kind of abuse.

To top it all off, the ice skating community turned out in droves for cameo roles in the film despite the fact that it makes them all look like a bunch of idiots. The supporting cast list reads like a program from “Stars On Ice”, but if they think they’re doing their past sport any favors by appearing in the movie, the joke’s on them. The only people who get played worse are the folks paying money for tickets to see the show. You pay full price for only a fraction of the funny.

On a side note: parents beware. As an MTV film the movie has been getting a lot of push on MTV’s kids outlet Nickelodeon. The movie was probably originally worthy of an R-rating, but when producers saw it was too stupid to survive anything more than a PG-13, they pared it back just enough. Don’t be fooled, this isn’t one for the under 13 crowd, not by a long shot.