Sunday, December 07, 2008

Step Brothers

Step Brothers (Adam McKay, 2008) [7]

Step Brothers is juvenile, slight, crude, and ridiculous. It also happens to be consistently hilarious which is all you can ask for of a comedy. In my previous reviews of other Will Ferrell comedies, I've state that the best moments of those films are the totally random, improvisational moments. This film is really nothing more than a collection of loose moments, only very loosely being tied together with some semblance of a plot. Ferrell and John C. Rielly play two thritysomethings with the emotional maturation of ten year olds. The two still live with their parents and when those two get married, the pair are forced to move in together and you get the title. Anything plotwise that occurs is playing second fiddle to Ferrell and Rielly playing foul-mouthed, immature man children to hilarious effect. There are numerous funny scenes but the best involve certain body parts on a drum set and a slow-mo karate montage in a garage with Hall & Oates on the soundtrack. The film may be stupid, crude, and dumb but comedies can play by different rules than drama. Story and character can take a back seat and laughs can cover up for any deficiencies in those areas. Step Brothers does that because it continually pushes the edge of actually being a film and not a collection of improv moments. It's something I've always wanted to see more of in Ferrell's comedies and finally, and when finally executed, it works they way I thought it would. Also, unlike all the other Apatow man-child movies of recent years, it has none of the borderline sappy, humanizing moments that I've always been ambivalent about. Brennan and Dale are just ridiculous, extreme characters, and when accepted at face value, Step Brothers consistently brings the funny moments.

When accessing the reviews of this film at metacritic, the top two reviews were from Kyle Smith of the New York Post and Stephen Hunter of the Washington Post. I only say this because I think these two are the worst film critics in the country and I'm almost repulsed that I would agree with them on this, especially since a lot of the reviews are lukewarm to negative. It really doesn't say that much other than I hope this film is an outlier and that I would have the same tastes as these hacks.

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