After Anchorman and Talladega Nights, Will Ferrell now adds ice-skating star to his list of caricatures.
Ferrell and Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) play rival figure skaters who are stripped of their gold medals and banned from skating solo after brawling on the victory stand after tying for first place at the World Championships but find a loophole that allows them to come back into competition as the first-ever pair of male skaters. Coached by Craig T. Nelson (Coach), their unorthodox routine includes a risky maneuver called the Iron Lotus, which has only been attempted in competition once before and one partner was decapitated. Their European rivals are played by Will Arnett (Arrested Development) and Amy Poehler (Saturday Night Live), a bickering, vaguely incestuous brother/sister team who are determined to sabotage them.
Screenwriters Jeff Cox, Craig Cox, John Altschuler and David Krinsky guilelessly lift the plot from The Cutting Edge (1992), while rookie directors Will Speck and Josh Gordon, who created Geicos memorable TV commercials, pile on the goofy, stumbling slapstick. Talladega Nights had Sacha Baron Cohen (before Borat), so this has skating champion Sasha Cohen.
There are plenty of spoofs of the glitzy, glittering, genteel figure-skating world and cameos by real-life Olympians Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, Brian Boitano, Scott Hamilton and Nancy Kerrigan. While Tonya Harding, whose 1994 attack on Kerrigan garnered extensive tabloid coverage, is conspicuously missing, Poehler threatens to break Ferrells leg beneath the knee and above the ankle and Arnett pursues Ferrell with a steel pipe.
Off-screen, Ferrell has vociferously complained about wearing the dance belt, which hides everything but is not a fun trip. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Blades of Glory glides in with a silly, satirical 6, skating on thin ice.