Blades of Glory (2007)

by | May 1, 2024 | 2000s, Comedy, Film Reviews, Sport | 0 comments

Release date: 11 May 2007 (South Africa)
Genre: Comedy/Sports
Director: Josh Gordon and Will Speck
Cinematographer: Stefan Czapsky
Budget: $52 million – $61 million USD
Box office: $145.7 million USD

 

“I will go to prison before I wear that leotard!” – Chazz Michael Michaels (played by Will Ferrell)

 

Blades of Glory: A Ridiculous Romp on the Ice

Strap on your sequined skates and prepare for a wild ride, because “Blades of Glory” is a comedic masterpiece that will have you snorting with laughter from the opening face-off to the outrageous closing routine. Directed by the duo of Josh Gordon and Will Speck, this 2007 film takes the world of competitive figure skating and injects it with a hilarious dose of absurdity.

At the centre of the story are two polar opposite skaters: the arrogant and flamboyant Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell) with his signature cologne “Victory” and a mane of frosted tips, and the shy, meticulous Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) known for his technical precision and questionable taste in sweater vests. Their rivalry reaches a fever pitch during the World Championship finals, where a brawl erupts on the ice that would make Tonya Harding blush. Disgraced and banned from men’s singles forever, both skaters see their careers seemingly over.

However, a loophole emerges, a technicality that could rewrite their destiny – a same-sex pairs skating category. Sensing an opportunity for redemption, their equally outrageous agent, the cigar-chomping Bentley Weston (William Daniels), hatches a plan that’s as crazy as it sounds: Chazz and Jimmy will become the first ever male figure skating duo.

The idea is as ridiculous as it gets, and the film gleefully embraces this absurdity. Imagine Rocky training with Apollo Creed, but instead of boxing, they’re attempting synchronised pirouettes on ice. The chemistry between Ferrell and Heder is undeniable. Ferrell brings his signature brand of over-the-top machismo to Chazz, who believes his talent transcends the need for teamwork. Heder perfectly portrays Jimmy’s wide-eyed innocence and unwavering dedication to the sport. Watching them forced to work together is pure comedic gold.

Their training sessions are a chaotic mix of personality clashes and hilariously disastrous attempts at synchronised skating. Think “Splash” meets “The Odd Couple” on ice. Chazz, used to solo routines and flamboyant jumps, scoffs at the idea of partnering with anyone, let alone the meticulous Jimmy. Jimmy, on the other hand, welcomes the chance to finally win gold, but struggles to deal with Chazz’s erratic behaviour. The film throws everything at the wall to see what sticks, from flamboyant costumes that wouldn’t look out of place in a Las Vegas show to outrageous routines featuring everything from pyrotechnics to live eagles (don’t worry, PETA, it’s all implied).

But “Blades of Glory” isn’t just about the outrageous gags. Beneath the slapstick exterior lies a surprisingly heartwarming story about overcoming adversity and the importance of teamwork. As Chazz and Jimmy learn to cooperate, they discover a hidden talent for synchronised skating. Their initial reluctance transforms into a genuine respect for each other’s skills, and a bond begins to form. We see glimpses of vulnerability beneath Chazz’s bravado and Jimmy’s uptight exterior. Chazz grapples with the realisation that maybe winning isn’t everything, and Jimmy learns to embrace the joy of performance.

 

Blades of Glory, Blades of Glory (2007), Will Ferrell, Jon Heder, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Jenna Fischer, Nick Swardson, William Fichtner, Craig T. Nelson, Rob Corddry, Romany Malco, Luke Wilson, Andy Richter

 

The film even throws in a sweet (and slightly nonsensical) romantic subplot that adds another layer to the story. Kate Van Waldenberg (Amy Poehler), the sardonic wife of the film’s villainous commentator, Stranz Van Waldenberg (Will Arnett), becomes Jimmy’s unlikely coach. Stranz, whose venomous takedowns of Chazz and Jimmy provide a constant source of amusement, represents the old guard of figure skating – focused on technical perfection and lacking any sense of fun. Kate, on the other hand, sees the potential in Chazz and Jimmy’s unconventional partnership and encourages them to embrace their individuality.

The supporting cast is equally impressive. Will Arnett steals the show as Stranz Van Waldenberg, whose withering commentary and flamboyant wardrobe are a comedic highlight. Amy Poehler shines as Kate Van Waldenberg, her dry wit and unexpected coaching methods perfectly complementing Jimmy’s personality. The film is filled with quirky characters, from Jimmy’s overly enthusiastic stalker who provides some genuinely laugh-out-loud moments to Chazz’s bizarre sex addiction therapist who adds another layer of absurdity to Chazz’s already outlandish character.

“Blades of Glory” isn’t for everyone. The humour is often crude and relies heavily on physical comedy. However, for those who appreciate Ferrell’s brand of absurdity and can handle a healthy dose of raunch, the film is a nonstop laugh riot. It’s a perfect blend of outrageous gags, heartwarming moments, and surprisingly impressive skating routines (performed by stunt doubles, of course). So, if you’re looking for a movie that will leave you with a smile on your face, a newfound appreciation for sequins, and maybe even a desire to lace up some skates (just be careful out there!), then “Blades of Glory” is the perfect cinematic ice dance for you. The film’s climax is a spectacle to behold. Chazz and Jimmy, having overcome their differences and honed their synchronised skating skills, take to the ice for the World Championships. Their routine is a masterpiece of absurdity, a wild combination of athleticism, outrageous costumes (think a bedazzled gladiator theme for Chazz and a swan costume for Jimmy, complete with a tutu), and a surprisingly emotional music choice—Queen’s “Flash Gordon.” The crowd gasps and cheers as they defy expectations, pulling off complex lifts, throws, and synchronised jumps that leave even the jaded Stranz Van Waldenberg speechless.

The ending is a satisfying blend of hilarity and heart. Will Chazz and Jimmy win the gold? Does it even matter anymore? The true victory lies in their newfound respect for each other and the joy they discover in skating together. “Blades of Glory” is a film that celebrates the underdog, the power of teamwork, and the importance of having a little fun along the way. It’s a reminder that sometimes, the most unexpected partnerships can lead to the most incredible achievements.

However, the film doesn’t shy away from acknowledging the darker side of competitive figure skating. Stranz Van Waldenberg’s ruthless pursuit of perfection and his willingness to sabotage his rivals represent the cutthroat nature of the sport. The film also pokes fun at the sometimes-questionable judging practices and the over-the-top theatricality of some routines.

Ultimately, “Blades of Glory” is a love letter to the absurdity of figure skating. It takes a campy, over-the-top approach, but it does so with a surprising amount of heart. The film is laugh-out-loud funny, with Ferrell and Heder delivering stellar comedic performances. But beneath the surface, there’s a message about redemption, teamwork, and the importance of embracing your individuality. So, whether you’re a die-hard figure skating fan or simply looking for a good laugh, “Blades of Glory” is a film that will leave you entertained. Just be prepared to be bombarded with sequins, questionable fashion choices, and enough slow-motion close-ups of Will Ferrell’s face to last a lifetime.

 

My Rating: 8/10

 

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