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Blades of Glory

The graceful and balletic sport of championship ice skating receives a drubbing with this comedy. Chazz Michael (Will Ferrell) and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) are two rival skaters whose icy daggers at each other match the coldness of the rinks they skate on. After a very public fight both men are disqualified for life. Years later Jimmy’s coach hatches a plan that allows them to re-enter the game by becoming a dynamic skating duo. The musical strains of Bolero have never been used for such an unlikely match, with the guys up against an evil brother/sister duo who will stop at nothing to maintain their winning streak.
After years of watching the rather kitsch skating extravaganzas on TV, it’s a pleasure to see a film that taps into the rivalry and tackiness the sport produces. The bizarrely themed skating routines themselves are amusing, which this film increases up another weird notch. Scenes like those show the importance of the physical as well as verbal comedy that each actor leaps into with gusto. There isn’t any heavy message here, it’s a fun film and relishes its own brand of stylish camp.
A lot of people either like or loathe Will Ferrell, but given a good script he can be fantastic, which he is in this. Ferrell plays the egotistical machismo very well and carries that through with his lowbrow role. Jon Heder is a perfect foil, as a shiny wonder boy who is the polar opposite to Ferrell’s ‘take no prisoners’ part. The rest of the actors perfectly convey the heightened reality of the humour not going in comedic excess.
The superb costuming and music show the writers wear their neon 1980s influences with pride. The comedy level stays at the same quirky rhythm until the end and doesn’t become bogged down in any unnecessary subplots. The leanness of the script allows the actors to go off on their own amusing tangents with Ferrell displaying his mastery of ad-lib situations.
Blades of Glory is a very entertaining comedy, which unlike recent films, is actually funny. The offbeat humour can be enjoyed on many levels, deftly mixing the satirical and broad comedy with confidence. The actors and screenplay manage to thaw the sometimes frosty demeanour of skating with glee.
Rating out of 10: 7

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