Blades of Glory


(2007) ★★★★

BBC1: Sunday 7 June, 11.15pm

Elf man goon Will Ferrell and Napoleon Dynamite geek Jon Heder as spandex gods of the figure skating rinks – how could this not achieve high marks for artistic impression? With his obscene gyrations, Ferrell’s big leather-clad lummox Chazz Michael Michaels is the ‘tsunami of swagger’, the deadly rival of Heder’s silky blond orphan Jimmy MacElroy, who’s a riot of turquoise and peacock feathers. “Very few women have skated with such beauty,” gushes the rinkside commentator. After coming to blows on the podium, the figure skating freaks get around a lifetime ban by teaming up as a pairs couple. Reigning champs Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg (Will Arnett and Amy Poehler camping it up as a creepy brother-and-sister team) are aghast. Brightly shot and wittily edited, this is a real movie, far punchier than any of Ferrell’s other sports comedies. Unlike Talladega Nights and Kicking and Screaming, Glory scores 6.0 across the board. And it’s a genuine left-field oddity, odd enough to quote from one of the strangest cult movies ever made, the weird Wilhelm Reich tribute WR: Mysteries of the Organism (in which an ice skater is decapitated). Here, it’s the fabled Iron Lotus, the most dangerous move in skating history. Blustering Ferrell and whiny Heder are perfectly paired, an instant classic comedy team. As the outraged Arnett observes: “All they’re doing is leeching the dignity out of our beloved sport.” Yep. Glory rocks. With laughter. And, unlike Jack Black’s Mexican wrestling fiasco Nacho Libre, it isn’t just about the spandex. The dialogue sparkles too. Even the love scenes are funny.

Certificate: 12
Duration: 93min