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Step Brothers


Stars: Will Ferrell, John C Reilly, Richard Jenkins, Mary Steenburgen, Adam Scott, Seth Rogen

Director: Adam McKay

No, not another dancing film. With more uses of the f-word than you can shake a stick at and enough below-the-belt 'gags' to make Mike Myers blush, this is the GoodFellas of comedy.

When their single parents fall in love, Brennan (Ferrell), 39, and Dale (Reilly), 40, who both still live at home, find themselves step brothers. And, despite Dale's dad (Jenkins) having a house that looks half the size of Buckingham Palace, they have to share a room and hate each other's guts.

All that changes when Brennan's insufferable brother Derek (Scott) comes to visit and, invited to do so, Dale punches him on the nose. The 'brothers' are now best friends and, having never outgrown their childhood, destroy everything in their path.

The film, like them, is never dull, but violent, (very) crude and noisy, rather than laugh-out-loud funny. The boys' combined mental age seems to be about 20, so it's not surprising that, urged by Brennan's mom (Steenburgen) to find a job, they dress up in tuxedos and make a hash of it. Brennan falls in love with his therapist (Andrea Savage) and Dale is pursued by Derek's lascivious wife (Kathryn Hahn - funnier than both stars combined), but about as romantic as this gets is when Hahn tells him that 'I'd like to roll you into a ball and put you in my vagina.'

Things do get a bit more amusing towards the end after the brothers' parents split up and they're left to fend for themselves, but too often the antics of these overgrown schoolboys are as tiresome to us as they are to others in the story.

David Quinlan

USA 2008. UK Distributor: Sony (Columbia). Colour.
95 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 24 Aug 2008