Blades of Glory is a 2007 American sports comedy film, directed by Will Speck & Josh Gordon, starring Will Ferrell, Jon Heder, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, Craig T. Nelson, Jenna Fischer and Nick Swardson.
Plot[edit | edit source]
|Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about|
the entire movie.
At the 2002 World Winter Sport Games, rival men's singles skaters Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell), a skillful skater but raunchy sex addict and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder), an equally talented but sheltered and effeminate skater tie for gold.
An argument ensues, which develops into a fight on the awards podium, ending with the World Games mascot being set on fire. As a result, they are stripped of their medals and banned from men's singles competition for life. Jimmy's competitive adoptive father, billionaire Darren MacElroy (William Fichtner), immediately disowns him and leaves him stranded on the side of the road.
Three and a half years later, Jimmy is working at a winter sporting goods store, while Chazz is fired from a children's skating show called "Grublets On Ice" for being in a drunken stupor on stage. Jimmy's obsessive stalker, Hector (Nick Swardson), tells him of a loophole in the ban allowing him to compete in pair skating.
In hopes of entering the upcoming World Winter Sport Games, Jimmy contacts his old coach, Robert (Craig T. Nelson), but is unable to find a partner. Jimmy's search for a last-minute partner leads him to Chazz, and Robert convinces the two to skate as the first-ever same-sex pairs team, because the regulations fail to state the genders of the pairs.
Robert informs them that to win, they will need to perform a technique that has never been performed successfully: The "Iron Lotus", an extremely complicated maneuver that Robert developed years ago. However, it is also dangerous: the only attempt of the maneuver was "behind the bamboo curtain" in North Korea, and resulted in the man decapitating the woman with his skate blade.
Nonetheless, they decide to attempt it as Robert is convinced that two males would be better suited for the move because of the physics of a same-sex team (this is a parody of skating-themed film The Cutting Edge, where the conflicting main characters also decide to practice a dangerous skating routine).
Brother and sister competitors Stranz (Will Arnett) and Fairchild (Amy Poehler) command Katie (Jenna Fischer), their younger sister and Jimmy's girlfriend, to disrupt the duo by having sex with Chazz, threatening to harm Jimmy if Katie does not comply.
Katie gets Chazz's attention after attending a sex addict's meeting as the newest member, then invites Chazz to her room and tries to seduce him. Chazz refuses, delighting Katie, but cannot resist grabbing her breasts. Jimmy witnesses this and is outraged at Chazz's and Katie's betrayals.
In an attempt to sabotage the performance, Stranz and Fairchild kidnap both Chazz and Jimmy, but both are able to escape. Chazz and Jimmy arrive in the ice rink just in time to compete, where they reconcile quickly and begin their routine. Fairchild (seeing the two doing well) throws pearls onto the ice, causing Chazz to trip and break his ankle, rendering him unable to perform his role in the Iron Lotus. Jimmy then offers to switch places with him.
Although they have never practiced the other's roles, they perform it perfectly, winning the competition. Jimmy reconciles with Katie, and Stranz and Fairchild are arrested due to the kidnappings and accidentally shooting a mascot.
Stranz & Fairchild begin arguing, then kiss each other incestuously before they are handcuffed by the authorities. Jimmy and Chazz receive the gold medal and fly off into the sky via rockets on their skates. During the credits, Hector is seen playing dolls of himself, Jimmy and Chazz.
Cast & Crew[edit | edit source]
- Will Ferrell as Charles "Chazz" Michael Michaels
- Jon Heder as James "Jimmy" MacElroy
- Will Arnett as Stranz Van Waldenberg
- Amy Poehler as Fairchild Van Waldenberg
- Jenna Fischer as Katie Van Waldenberg
- William Fichtner as Darren MacElroy
- Craig T. Nelson as Coach Robert
- Romany Malco as Jesse
- Nick Swardson as Hector
- Rob Corddry as Bryce
- William Daniels as Commissioner Ebbers
- Luke Wilson as Sex Class Counselor
- Zachary Ferren as Young James "Jimmy" MacElroy
- Sarah Kawahara as Main Choreographer
- Lisa Marie Allen as Assistant Choreographer
- Sasha Cohen as Herself
- Scott Hamilton as Himself/Commentator
- Peggy Fleming as Herself/Skating Official
- Brian Boitano as Himself/Skating Official
- Dorothy Hamill as Herself/Skating Official
- Nancy Kerrigan as Herself/Skating Official
- Chad Brennan as Will Ferrell's skating double
- Ethan Burgess as Jon Heder's skating double
- Patrick Hancock as Will Arnett's skating double / Will Ferrell's skating double 2
- Tiffany Scott – Amy Poehler's skating double
- Todd Sand – Additional skating/Jon Heder
- Forrest Ryan McKinno as Chazz Stunt Skate Double Chase
- Scott Irvine – Stunt Skate Double
- Armen Saakian – Stunt Skate Double
- Akop Manoukian – Stunt Skate Double
- John Zimmerman – Stunts/Himself
- Kyoko Ina – Stunts/Herself
- Yuka Sato – Stunts/Herself
- Jamie Salé – Stunts/Herself
- David Pelletier – Stunts/Himself
- Benjamin C. Oberman – Skating Consultant
- Jonathon DePaz – On-ice Camera Operator
- Judy Blumberg – Amy Poehler's coach
- Susan Austin – Will Ferrell's coach
- Dawn Porter – Jon Heder's coach
- Julie Brault – Skating Coach (Montreal)
- Matt Evers – Skate Tree 1
Production[edit | edit source]
The filming dates for "Blades of Glory" began on June 26, 2006.
All of the scenes at the United States Figure Skating Championships and World Wintersport Games were shot at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. The stadium used for the outside shoots is the unique Montreal Olympic Stadium, built for the 1976 Olympics.
The outdoor chase scenes were also shot on-location in Montréal. The building used for athlete housing in Montréal was the unique Habitat 67, built for Expo 67.
The film was delayed for a small undetermined period of time after Jon Heder broke his ankle while doing a skating program for the film.
Will Ferrell and Jon Heder learned how to ice skate and they trained extensively with Michelle Kwan's coach, Sarah Kawahara.
Reception[edit | edit source]
Box Office[edit | edit source]
The film has made $118,245,842 in North America and $26,264,403 in the international market place. Worldwide, the film grossed $145,708,642.
Critical Reception[edit | edit source]
"Blades of Glory" received positive reviews from critics.
Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 69% based on reviews from 183 critics with an average rating of 6.2 out of 10.
The site's critical consensus is: "Thanks to the spirited performances of a talented cast - particularly Will Ferrell and Jon Heder as rivals-turned-teammates -- Blades of Glory successfully spoofs inspirational sports dramas with inspired abandon."
The Monthly critic Luke Davies accepted the film as a fun romp, comparing it to Will Ferrell's previous movies Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, writing positively of Ferrell's performance, describing that "there is a parodic exhilaration to everything Ferrell does; there's always the sense that any scene is precariously close to being a blooper reel".
However, Davies conceded that, like the other two films, the plot was "formulaic ... [with] an obviousness to the set-ups, a no-nonsense compression, a sometimes clunky transition from one sequence to the next" but that it was the film's ability to "venture to fantastically absurd places – to set aside the rapid and hokey forward movement – and there to idle in neutral, in zones of pure comic exploration" and offer "moments of expansive hilarity ... that made the films worthwhile".
Davies concluded that "Blades of Glory remains completely deadpan. Everything is self-knowing, a wink at the audience, and cheap shots are made only at the expense of the characters" and that "the film has warmth, rather than just being a series of high-grade lowbrow sketches and gags" due to "the protagonists [ability to] inhabit and fill their world, rather than come up against it, enhanc[ing] the comedy".
Michael Phillips from the Chicago Tribune said the film is "full of laughs both subtle and ridiculous".
Entertainment Weekly said, "Blades of Glory has funny moves even when its characters can barely move, but the film seldom gets past its one basic laugh: that a real man figure-skating is a contradiction in terms".
Accolades[edit | edit source]
2007 BMI Film & TV Awards
- BMI Film Music Award: Theodore Shapiro (won)
2007 Casting Society of America, USA
- Artios for Best Feature Film Casting- Comedy: Juel Bestrop and Seth Yankelwitz (nominated)
2008 Costume Designers Guild Awards
- Excellence in Contemporary Film: Julie Weiss (won)
2007 MTV Movie Awards
- Best Movie (nominated)
- Best Comedic Performance: Will Ferrell (nominated)
- Best Fight: Will Ferrell & Jon Heder (nominated)
2007 Teen Choice Awards
- Choice Movie Actor- Comedy: Will Ferrell (won) (also for "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby")
- Choice Movie- Comedy (nominated)
- Choice Movie Actor- Comedy: Jon Heder (nominated) (also for "School of Scoundrels")
- Choice Movie-Chemistry: Will Ferrell & Jon Heder (nominated)
- Choice Movie- Hissy Fit: Will Ferrell (nominated)
- Choice Movie- Dance: Will Ferrell & Jon Heder (nominated)
2008 Visual Effects Society Awards
- VES Award for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Motion Picture: Mark Breakspear, Randy Starr, Shauna Bryan & Kody Sabourin (nominated)