- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 29, 2007

Will Ferrell’s fans will put up with a lot. They have a high threshold for corny jokes, physical humor and frat-boy antics, and have complacently swallowed scenes they might’ve spit up at the hands of a lesser comedic actor — take frequent glimpses of Mr. Ferrell’s oddly shaped, half-naked body and the movie “Elf,” for starters.

But the funnyman’s latest film choice, the ice-skating parody “Blades of Glory,” will separate his die-hard fans from his fair-weather friends. What should be an energetic burst of buoyant comedy ends up thudding along a course of uninspired gags that mostly revolve around the unofficial theme “Ice-skating is for homosexuals.”

The gist of the movie is that effeminate, sequin-wrapped Jimmy MacElroy (“Napoleon Dynamite’s” Jon Heder) and hyper-macho Chazz Michael Michaels (a long-haired Mr. Ferrell) are skating rivals whose post-World Championship brawl disqualifies them from the sport indefinitely.

Their only hope for future gold medals lies in a loophole. They can no longer compete in singles skating; however, if they team up and form a couple … then they can show the film audiences how audacious and sexually suggestive it is for two men to embrace one another on the ice. (Imagine “The Ambiguously Gay Duo” from “Saturday Night Live” except less funny.)

Mr. Ferrell gets in a few fierce one-liners that definitely fall on the offensive side of the fence, but provide the film’s biggest guffaws. Other than that, it’s as stark as Siberia, with Craig T. Nelson (their coach), “Saturday Night Live’s” Amy Poehler and Will Arnett (a malicious skating duo), “The Office’s” Jenna Fischer (Jimmy’s love interest), and a host of figure-skating stars all stuck out in the cold.

If anyone could bring a young male demographic to a film about figure skating, it’s Will Ferrell. But neither that group nor the sport itself may be thanking him for it.

*

TITLE: “Blades of Glory”

RATING: PG-13 (language, some crude and sexual jokes and mild violence)

CREDITS: Directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon. Written by Jeff and Craig Cox, John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky.

RUNNING TIME: 93 minutes

WEB SITE: www.bladesofglorymovie.com

MAXIMUM RATING: FOUR STAR

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