Blades of Glory (2007)

blades of gloryIMDb

How fitting that we watched this movie during the Winter Olympics? I literally just spent an hour enjoying ice dancing and women’s figure skating, and honestly, Blades of Glory is pretty spot on in places. It definitely spends a fair amount of time skewering the sport, but you get the sense that it’s all in good fun. I highly doubt that so many actual figure skaters would have shot cameos for this if they weren’t in on the joke.

The most accurate portion is the commentary during the routines. Former skater Scott Hamilton has been delivering Olympic figure skating commentary for as long as I can remember, so seeing him here providing serious commentary for ridiculous, over-the-top routines is both hysterical and nostalgic. I miss Hamilton’s familiar voice when watching Olympic coverage in Australia. This is as close as I’ll get this year, but I’ll take it.

Will Ferrell and Jon Heder star as rival mens figure skaters. They’re both hilarious, with Ferrell acting as the “bad boy of skating,” and Heder as a polished and disciplined athlete. The absurdity of Ferrell’s character skating in competition to something like Billy Squier’s “Stroke Me Blues” is just too perfect not to laugh. And Heder’s costumes, while completely ridiculous, aren’t that far off the real thing. The two are even better together when they join forces to become the first male-male pairs skating team. Again, totally silly, but in a great way.

Will Arnett and Amy Poehler play a brother-sister team who are Ferrell and Heder’s main competition. These two perform some great themed routines that almost make me wish this was actually a thing in the figure skating world. It also makes me sad all over again that these two have divorced in real life. They’re so great together, and I want to see more (another Poehler guest spot on Arrested Development would be particularly great).

Maybe I’d be less kind to this movie in any other year. I know this isn’t Ferrell’s best, but who cares? I like the sport, so for me this earns a silver medal.

Rating: B

This film is really dumb, but you can’t help but laugh sometimes.

The world of figure skating is already so outrageous and colourful, it was only a matter of time before it was spoofed by Hollywood. Who better to do this than Will Ferrell? He plays Chaz Michael Michaels, legendary figure skater and sex tornado. He has a huge rivalry with the effeminate Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder). After a tournament where they tie with each other and start brawling, it leads to both of them getting expelled for life. They find a loophole in the expulsion by joining the partners circuit, becoming the first all male twosome in figure skating history.

This film pokes fun at itself and the figure skating world a lot and it’s really funny. The movie knows that it is taking the mickey out of an already regularly mocked sport and revels in it. Will Ferrell is great as Chaz. He is almost the exact opposite of someone you would expect to find professional figure skating. He is a large man with a big gut, hardly the svelte frame you’d expect to see in the ice. Jon Heder, on the other hand, is a figure skating stereotype. He does not get the laughs that Ferrell does, but he is a good straight man and lets Ferrell run riot. Heder was coming off one of the funniest films in recent memory (Napoleon Dynamite) and this was a bit of a letdown from that performance, but Ferrell’s great comedic ability makes up for it.

Amy Poehler and Will Arnett are also in this cast as Chaz and Jimmy’s main rivals. They are a brother and sister skating team who have guilt tripped their sister (Jenna Fischer) into basically being their slave. They use her to try and break up the new up and coming skating powerhouse that is Chaz and Jimmy. It was the first time I noticed Jenna Fischer as someone other than Pam Beasley from The US Office. That show does such a good job of making her look like a dowdy secretary, but in this movie she is really gorgeous.

This movie has a lot of fun with an already ridiculous topic. It is ironic we watched this film during the Sochi Olympics. When we turned it off, the figure skating was actually on live. It was really interesting to see how close to the truth this film gets. There was not much that needed to change in order to mock a sport that was clearly calling out to be spoofed.

Rating: B-

3 thoughts on “Blades of Glory (2007)

  1. Pingback: The Campaign (2012) | From The Abyss to Zoolander

  2. Pingback: Elf (2003) | From The Abyss to Zoolander

  3. Pingback: Napoleon Dynamite (2004) | From The Abyss to Zoolander

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s