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Blades of Glory


Stars: Will Ferrell, Jon Heder, Jenna Fischer, Craig T Nelson, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Luke Wilson, William Daniels

Director: Will Speck, Josh Gordon

The second of Ferrell's sporting comedies, following Talladega Nights, this is certainly the funnier of the two. It's tough to accept the burly Ferrell as a figure skating champ, but he just about gets away with it, as Chazz Michael Michaels, a mucho macho type whose big rival is Jimmy MacElroy (Heder), an altogether more delicate flower whose blond good looks and sensitive routines (he transforms his arm into a peacock's head) have taken him to the top.

When the two come to blows on the presentation podium after sharing a gold medal, they are banned for life. A few years later, Ferrell is a (drunken) evil wizard in an ice panto, while Heder labours selling skates in a sports store. But a dedicated (not to mention paranoid) coach (Nelson) discovers a loophole in their banishment. They are not prohibited from competing in pairs competitions.

Failing to find female partners, they find themselves the first male pairing, practising the deadly 'iron lotus' (which tends to chop skaters' heads off) and at the mercy of the vicious, scheming reigning champs (Poehler, Arnett) who will stop at nothing to keep their title - even using their kid sister (Fischer) as bait to split MacElroy, who's fallen for her, from Michaels.

Ferrell's dimness - 'They laughed at Louis Armstrong when he said he was going to the Moon,' he exclaims - and Feder's thin skin, although both well-worn acts, are used to good advantage in a film that provides good fun almost throughout - though we could have done without Feder's creepy number one fan (Nick Swardson), who also appears in some very unfunny scenes over the end credits.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Paramount (DreamWorks). Technicolor.
93 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 30 Mar 2007