Blades of Glory is a 2007 American Sports comedy film directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon, and starring Will Ferrell and Jon Heder. The movie was produced by MTV Films, Red Hour and Smart Entertainment and released on March 29, 2007 by DreamWorks Pictures.
At the 2002 World Winter Sport Games, rival men's singles skaters Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell), a skillful skater but raunchy sex addict, and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder), an equally talented but sheltered and effeminate skater, tie for gold. An argument ensues, which develops into a fight on the awards podium, ending with the World Games mascot being set on fire. As a result, they are stripped of their medals and banned from men's singles competition for life. Jimmy's competitive adoptive father, billionaire Darren MacElroy (William Fichtner), immediatelydisowns him and leaves him stranded on the side of the road.
Three and a half years later, Jimmy is working at a winter sporting goods store and gets demoted to sorting stock after he refuses to listen to a little girl when she tells him her skating boot has been tied too tightly. Chazz is fired from a children’s skating show called "Grublets On Ice" for being in a drunken stupor on stage. Jimmy's obsessive stalker, Hector (Nick Swardson), tells him of a loophole in the ban allowing him to compete in pair skating. In hopes of entering the upcoming World Winter Sport Games, Jimmy contacts his old coach, Robert (Craig T. Nelson), but is unable to find a partner. Jimmy's search for a last-minute partner leads him to Chazz, and Robert convinces the two to skate as the first-ever same-sex pairs team, because the regulations fail to state the genders of the pairs.
The reigning U.S. national pairs champions, brother and sister Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg (Will Arnett and Amy Poehler), see the new pair as a threat and conspire against them. The pair convince their sister Katie (Jenna Fischer), whom they often take advantage of by reminding her that their parents died taking Katie to skating practice, to spy on the duo. In the process, Katie becomes acquainted with Jimmy and they develop a relationship. Although Chazz and Jimmy are initially disgusted by each other, they eventually develop a friendship. They compete at the United States Figure Skating Championships and earn a chance to compete at the World Winter Sport Games.
Chazz and Jimmy’s coach, Robert, informs them that to win, they will need to perform a technique that has never been performed successfully: The "Iron Lotus", an extremely complicated maneuver that Robert developed years ago. However, it is also dangerous: the only attempt of the maneuver was “behind the bamboo curtain” in North Korea, and resulted in the man decapitating the woman with his skate blade. Nonetheless, they decide to attempt it as Robert is convinced that two males would be better suited for the move because of the physics of a same-sex team (this is a parody of skating-themed film The Cutting Edge, where the conflicting main characters also decide to practice a dangerous skating routine). Fairchild commands Katie to disrupt the duo by having sex with Chazz, threatening to harm Jimmy if Katie does not comply. Katie gets Chazz's attention after attending a sex addict's meeting as the newest member, then invites Chazz to her room, and tries to seduce him. Chazz refuses, delighting Katie, but cannot resist grabbing her breasts. Jimmy witnesses this and is outraged at Chazz's and Katie's betrayals.
The next day, Chazz and Jimmy are both kidnapped and restrained by Stranz and Fairchild. Katie gets tired of her siblings and accepts that their parents were not properly safe while driving. While handcuffing Jimmy in a bathroom, Fairchild reveals that she and Stranz commanded Katie to have sex with Chazz yet she could not go through with it, due to her love for Jimmy. Chazz escapes but is pursued by Stranz throughMontréal on ice and then through streets and stores. He tries to shoot Chazz with a crossbow, but accidentally hits the Winter Sport Games Mascot, Snowflake. Jimmy also escapes when a kid in the bathroom knocked down the bin which contains the key for the handcuff, though he had to use his tongue to drag the dirty toilet paper, as the key was on it.
Stranz and Fairchild perform their routine, a dramatization of the "Forbidden Romance" of John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. Both Chazz and Jimmy arrive in the ice rink just in time to compete. Chazz and Jimmy reconcile quickly and begin their routine, which has a science fiction theme. Fairchild, seeing the two doing well, throws pearls onto the ice. Chazz trips over a pearl and breaks his ankle, which renders him unable to perform his role in the Iron Lotus. Jimmy then offers to switch places with him. Although they have never practiced the other's roles, they perform it perfectly, with Jimmy's blade only cutting two small strands of Chazz's facial hair. Jimmy and Chazz win the competition, Jimmy reconciles with Katie, and Stranz and Fairchild are arrested due to the kidnappings and Snowflake‘s shooting. Stranz and Fairchild begin arguing, then inexplicably kiss each other incestuously before they are handcuffed by the authorities. Jimmy and Chazz receive the gold medal and fly off into the sky through rockets on their skates. During the credits, Hector is seen playing dolls of himself, Jimmy and Chazz.
The film's cast and crew includes dozens of people with backgrounds in skating:
All of the scenes at the United States Figure Skating Championships and World Wintersport Games were shot at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. The stadium used for the outside shoots is the unique Montreal Olympic Stadium, built for the 1976 Olympics. The outdoor chase scenes were also shot on-location in Montréal. The building used for athlete housing in Montréal was the unique Habitat 67, built for Expo 67. The film was delayed for a small undetermined period of time when Jon Heder broke his ankle while doing a skating program for the film.
The film grossed $33,014,202 on its opening weekend on March 30 — April 1 with 3,372 theaters, averaging $9,790 per screen, beating out Disney's Meet the Robinsons to be the number 1 film. It made $22.5 million in its second weekend, losing only 32% of its audience and retaining the Number 1 spot. As of December 3, 2007 the film has made $118,245,842 in America and $26,264,403 in the international market place. Its worldwide tally is $145,708,642.
The film received positive reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 69% based on reviews from 183 critics with an average rating of 6.2 out of 10. The site's critical consensus is "Thanks to the spirited performances of a talented cast - particularly Will Ferrell and Jon Heder as rivals-turned-teammates -- Blades of Glory successfully spoofs inspirational sports dramas with inspired abandon."
The Monthly critic Luke Davies accepted the film as a fun romp, comparing it to Will Ferrell's previous movies Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and wrote positively of Ferrell's performance, describing that "there is a parodic exhilaration to everything Ferrell does; there's always the sense that any scene is precariously close to being a blooper reel." However, Davies conceded that, like the other two films, the plot was "formulaic ... [with] an obviousness to the set-ups, a no-nonsense compression, a sometimes clunky transition from one sequence to the next" but that it was the film's ability to "venture to fantastically absurd places – to set aside the rapid and hokey forward movement – and there to idle in neutral, in zones of pure comic exploration" and offer "moments of expansive hilarity ... that made the films worthwhile." Davies concluded that "Blades of Glory remains completely deadpan. Everything is self-knowing, a wink at the audience, and cheap shots are made only at the expense of the characters" and that "the film has warmth, rather than just being a series of high-grade lowbrow sketches and gags" due to "the protagonists [ability to] inhabit and fill their world, rather than come up against it, enhanc[ing] the comedy."
The film was released on DVD and HD DVD on August 7, 2007 and released on Blu-ray Disc on May 20, 2008.