Blades of Glory
As the great-grandson of Sherlock Holmes, also named Sherlock Holmes, one finds certain things expected of one’s self. The deerstalker cap, the Invernesse cape, the curved pipe (to be held, even if one does not smoke). But the most intrusive of all these is definitely the expectation that one is to share rooms with the great-grandson of Dr. Watson. While our forebears found this necessary out of sheer economy, later generations were born with a certain standard of living that made such forced co-habitation less than amenable to us. Which brings me to my investigation of “Blades of Glory,” a tale of another forced partnership.
At this point in his comic career, actor Will Farrell is a choice many movie viewers have already decided upon. His recent triumph with “Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” showed him to be at the top of his game, but you still find those who haven’t forgiven him for a particular “Saturday Night Live” skit or one of his earlier movies. To be fair, however, Will Farrell is a comedian who knows what he’s about and does it very well, given the chance. And he does it very well once again in “Blades of Glory.”
A parody that takes the world of figure skating to the level of ridiculous (which it’s often close to anyway), “Blades of Glory” could not help but remind one of that classic “Odd Couple” skating movie “The Cutting Edge,” where a manly-man hockey player is persuaded to team with a pampered female figure skater. Here Will Farrell’s character Chazz Michael Michaels is the manly man, a type of character that he’s honed to a fine edge over the years, drunken, womanizing, out of shape yet somehow a skilled athlete . . . all those things that most men aspire to be. Forced by circumstance and the inspiration of a slightly nutty coach (Craig T. Nelson), Michaels teams with the prissy, over-trained champion skater Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) to once again aspire to the pseudo-Olympic gold they once were denied by their own rivalry.
Make no mistake, “Blades of Glory” is as much wacky parody as any of those worse-every-time “Scary Movie” or “Date Movie” things. But unlike those conglomerations of unrelated bits, “Blades” skillfully lampoons sports movies and modern life with both broad and subtle strokes of comedy, as different as the styles of actresses Amy Poehler (“Saturday Night Live”) and Jenna Fischer (“The Office”) who also appear in the movie. Like the teaming of Michaels and MacElroy in the movie itself, there is a certain combining of elements in “Blades of Glory” that just makes it all the more a great comedy.
If you’re not in the “No Will Farrell movies” camp and you like parody and/or skating movies, I would give “Blades of Glory” a solid recommendation.
What Great-Grandfather Sherlock Would Say: