Unlike his recent restrained performance in Stranger Than Fiction, Will Ferrell returns to play the over-the-top type of character in Blades of Glory that he is best known for, But this time he shares the scene-chewing duties with Napoleon Dynamite himself – Jon Heder. Audiences will largely respond to Blades of Glory according to how they already feel about Ferrell’s and Heder’s comedic styles but overall this is a satisfying comedy that sustains genuine laughs throughout.
Ferrell and Heder are rival competitive ice-skaters who reluctantly join forces to become the first male skating duo after both being banned from ever competing again as solos. The world of international ice-skating is fully exploited throughout the film and there are some hilariously inventive routines made possible with CGIs.
Heder as ice-skating’s golden boy and Ferrell as the crass renegade of the circuit are a great pairing and they compliment each other’s shtick wonderfully. The odd couple scenario develops predictably but there is an actual sweetness to the pair’s relationship that undermines the inevitable gay jokes. Indeed for a film containing jokes about sex-addiction, incest, stalking, traumatic childhoods and an accidental decapitation, Blades of Glory is a remarkably light-hearted film.
Originally appeared in The Big Issue, No. 281, 2007