Blades of Glory Josh Gordon & Will Speck

Blades of Glory seems almost too easy, especially when you have Will Ferrell involved. An exploitation comedy centring on men’s figure skating can reveal the nasty opinions many people harbour for such a "graceful” sport but Blades of Glory works largely because it takes itself out of the realm of believability.

After rival gold medal champion skaters Chazz Michael Michaels (Ferrell) and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) are ousted from men’s singles skating for fighting over their first place tie, they both reach professional lows: the former drunkenly (and hilariously) performs at a children’s panto-on-ice skate, while the latter fails at skate shop retail. However, Jimmy’s stalker (played flawlessly by Nick Swardson) urges him to get back in the ring and discovers a pairs skating loophole. After another public spat arises, Jimmy’s former coach (Craig T. Nelson) realises the potential in the team-up of the two former adversaries. Just in time for the Nationals, the pair joins forces and flesh out a routine to get them into the pseudo-Olympic competition.

Of course, there is a villainous team waiting to put a stop to this publicity-loving, man-on-man skating machine. Sexually tense siblings Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg (real life couple Will Arnett and Amy Poehler) diabolically plot to spoil, kidnap and even kill Chazz and Jimmy in order to reach the gold. Thankfully, Blades of Glory doesn’t sink to the obvious degrading humour two men in flamboyant costumes skating together could inspire — some hesitation from the leads to join forces arises but it’s more so because they’re bitter rivals not because they’re homophobic.

Instead, the jokes aim for absurdity and hit it right in the bull’s-eye thanks to the exchanges between Ferrell’s woman-conquering cowboy and Heder’s precious yet peevish man-child. The scene-stealers though come not so much from Ferrell’s as-always histrionic goofing but from the incestuous makeup of cunning villains Arnett and Poehler (who embody the perfectly depraved relationship that often creeps accompanies sibling teams), as well as the actual skating.

Meanwhile, the action on the ice reaches beyond with moves like the "Iron Locust,” which receives some help from CGI (trust me, it’s worth it to make it that impossible), and the wardrobe is, as anticipated in a film like this, hilarious (Stranz and Fairchild dressed as Marky Mark-loving urban hoodlums is particularly genius.

Much like Zoolander, it’s a tight niche to manipulate but Blades of Glory manages to create a steady, heavy flow of amusements that hold up together until its senseless last scene. (Dreamworks)