Sunday, August 10, 2008

Review - Step Brothers

Two 40 year old men who still live with their single parents are forced to move in together when their father and mother get married after meeting at a conference. Brennan and Dale start off as extremely competitive stepbrothers, but soon realize that they have more in common then they thought, eventually becoming bestfriends.

John C. Riley and Will Ferrell are back together again in Step Brothers and while the script and story are pretty bad, the two do a hysterical job of playing enemies who become the best of friends. Step Brothers best moments are Riley and Ferrell playing off eachother. Directed by Adam McKay (Anchorman and Talladega Nights) Step Brothers is not McKay or Ferrell's best work in the slighest, but feels like something they had alot of fun making. Like too many comedians, I fear Ferrell's work is becoming, far too predictable. Ultimately, Step Brothers has some really perfect moments, but lacked enjoyability throughout.

John C. Riley and Will Ferrell really do play great enemies and perfect best friends. Both of them are absolutely hilarious in the parts. You can tell that Ferrell and Riley work perfect together and I am sure that there are thousands of longer cuts and extended scenes with the two of them improvising ridiculous lines. The scene where Brennan and Dale realize that they are becoming friends is perfect. "On the count of three name your favorite dinosaur" (simultaneously) "Velociraptor" "Did we just become best-friends?" "Yep!" "Wanna do some karate in the basement?" "Fuck Yeah!" This movie really is all about Ferrell and Riley playing off eachother and having a good time. Everything else in the film really just feels like filler, and isn't anywhere near as funny.

The 95 minute comedy is much of the same for Ferrell. Ferrell's delivery has become a tad formulaic and here in Step Brothers parts feel very re-used. Step Brothers is better than 'Blades of Glory' by a mile and is far more rewatchable. Too many times, however I found myself wondering would I see something new from Ferrell, but never did. Dont get we wrong I love Ferrell's lovable loser roles, but I want something different from him. Let's hope 'Holmes and Watson' will break that mold (doubt it)! Just like Sandler, Ferrell is falling into the cycle of only doing the same recycled characters. John C. Riley on the other hand, had started more in drama and has found new wings alongside Ferrell in comedic roles, so his performance feels much fresher. Riley, who I have admired in roles like Magnolia, Criminal, Boogie Nights, The Thin Red Line, and What's Eating Gilbert Grape doesn't feel like he has done this charcter a bunch of times. (Ferrell needs to do some more drama roles, while Riley should continue his streak in comedic roles)

Bottom line is Step Brothers was really funny in moments and the rest of it was only watchable. Step Brothers like alot of the 'SNL' actors films, is a great idea for a skit, but doesn't ultimately work in a feature film. All of the bits with the characters are perfect, (loved the fight over the drums) but the filler isn't nearly as funny and forces the viewer to lose focus with the film. I enjoyed Step Brothers for what it was, got some great laughs along the way, and for fans of Ferrell it is not to be missed.