A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

film and television
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

BLADES OF GLORY (article first published : 2007-06-11)

Chazz Michael Michaels: loud, arrogant, egotistic, showy and one of the best figures in American ice-skating; a long-haired Lothario who has won not only countless trophies but also an adult film award, for a starring role in, er, The Iceman Cometh.

Then there's McIlroy. Sweet, buck-toothed, gentle - the froth-mopped, Little Lord Fauntleroy of men's figure-skating, a somewhat nai´ve poser adopted by a millionaire and encouraged to exploit a talent that he has had since the age of 4.

Welcome to Blades Of Glory, a spotlighted, frozen world where the double klutz meets the triple lutz, where comedians Will Ferrell as Chazz Michael, and Jon Heder as McIlory fill the skating boots of the longtime arch-rivals on ice - icons who break into a public wrestling match when they tie for an important title.

The outrage of the scuffle leads to an inquiry - watch for a judging panel including ice-skating legends Dorothy Hamill and Brian Botano - that disqualifies both men from further competition.

The result? Chazz Michaels, turning to the bottle, ends up playing a wizard in a tacky ice pageant, while McIlroy sells ice-skating boots in a shoe store.

But the glitter and glamour is not over yet - an enterprising coach somehow gets the two enemies to agree to forming the first male pairs team in competition. Together, he figures, they're sure to kick some ice.

And so we move into higher gear for a silly, but good-natured comedy that gleefully takes the mickey out of the world of ice-skating, much like Baz Luhrman's Strictly Ballroom did with the whole fake-smile world of ballroom dancing.

Not only does the director milk humour from the animosity between Chazz Michaels and McIlroy turning to a reluctant professional partnership and even, eventually a tentative friendship, but there's the slippery sideplot of a gaudy brother-and-sister team of pairs rivals who will do anything - including exploit their pretty sister - to ensure the crack male pairs team stays out of the limelight.

Routines and costumes are insanely , hilariously, over-the-top while choreography is often a riot, especially when the all-male routines kick in, introducing not only flames and fireworks but also a dangerous new move, the iron lotus, which has never been attempted before, mainly because it could easily result in one partner decapitating the other.

Ferrell is not everyone's idea of the most brilliant comic who ever graced a screen, but he exudes a certain charm here and his chemistry with the equally amusing Heder is good. Certainly there were plenty of out-loud laughs, most notably during rehearsal scenes, which squeeze every ounce of mirth out of moves including grips and glides, lifts and lunges.

The film tends to skate on thin ice towards the end, running out of steam a bit, but it's a fun enough bet for anyone wanting to put the mind in neutral. - 6/10 ľ Billy Suter




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart