Monday, September 01, 2008

Step Brothers

There are some movies that are worth exactly $3. Step Brothers was one of them. Entertaining enough to keep me interested for a good 3/4 of the movie, sappy enough to appeal to the kid in all of us, and funny enough for a few good belly laughs. 

While the childish antics of Brennan (Ferrell) and Dale (Reilly) are initially nothing short of hilarious, their insults and bonding montages start to get a little tiresome. By the time the two boys have successfully ruined their parents' life, the movie hits a bit of a standstill, rolling from one bit of repetitive physical comedy to the next.

Luckily the film saves itself in the end with new found maturity that gives us this quote after Brennan loses his job:
"I'm so scared right now. I'm just gonna do what's sensible, I'm gonna file for unemployment. Then I'm gonna try to get a job at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, because they got an excellent corporate structure and they...they give you the tools to be your own boss."

And that points to the reason this movie actually works for me. While the physical comedy is silly and a little amateur, the subtle bits of dialogue involving popular culture and creative use of the many words for male genitalia actually save the movie. This seems so backwards. It's usually those pop culture references that ruin films, dating them with overused observations about today's world (hey everyone, let's make a movie about a cell phone! We'll call in 88 Minutes but the movie will be much much much longer than that!). In this case the pop culture is so far out there that it struck me as very clever. Likewise, I think, with all the poop and fart humor. It's just different enough that it surprises you. And, most importantly, makes you laugh.


E Dot said...

You're a braver person than me. I thought the film was painfully terrible. During the entire duration of the movie I was plotting revenge on the studio who green-lit this script. So far that plot involves tissue paper, a crowbar, and several cans of bug spray.

Which is disappointing because I really like Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly...

elgringo said...

Don't forget the Outback Steakhouse line.
Step Brothers does miss the mark at some points, but just like you said, it's worth exactly 3 bucks to watch. Lot of funny bits, way funnier than Blades of Glory or Semi Pro, that's for sure.


I think Whitney wins points for something. Bravery... um?

i'm not going anywhere near this... ;)

whitney said...

I don't know if I'm brave...but like Scott said, it's funnier than so many awful comedies that come out. (I'm looking at you, Dodgeball!) Probably because it's rated R.

Plus, it's not sexist. Which is something that movies like Wedding Crashers (comedy in the same vein, I think) can't claim.


omg, y'all. I don't know what possessed me other than fatigue but i was flipping channels in my hotel room a week ago and chanced upon BLADES OF GLORY in progress.

I thought I might die from the absence of laughter... or maybe i was terrified that I was so enervated that I couldn't even lift the remote to shut it off. Eventually I managed to press a button but damn. I thought I was going to get trapped in that thing forever and wow was that ever bad.

whitney said...

Was that button the "Turn Up the Volume" button? Because sometimes louder is funnier, or at least Will Ferrell seems to think so.

I actually saw Blades of Glory in theatres...I don't know how that happened. Awful.

caley said...

A friend of mine asked me what I thought of Step Brothers minutes after it ended (I hope all of you stayed into the credits for what I thought was, by far, the funniest part of the movie), and I responded that it was "alternately the worst movie I've ever seen, and actually pretty funny." I really feel like it gives you a pretty representation of what it's like to sit in on a writing session between Ferrell and Reilly, all the hilarious bits, as well as all the stuff that normally gets nipped in the bud by an editor (That sleepwalking scene was interminable).