"You're a big, fat, curly-headed fuck!"
Written By: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay
Directed By: Adam McKay
Starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Mary Steenburgen, Richard Jenkins.
My rating: 6/10
The set-up for Step-Brothers involves Nancy (Mary Steenburgen)and Robert (Richard Jenkins) an older couple who fall in love, get married and try to prepare to spend their retirement days living on their boat. Trouble is, both have brought a 40 year-old son who refuses to grow up into the marriage. Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly play these new step-brothers and "play" is the operative word here, as they let totally loose and have an enormous amount of fun with these characters. Although both are well capable of playing serious roles, they have both made goofy over-acting into a lovable art-form.
The set-up for Step-Brothers is definitely one of the most tantalising I'd heard in ages and ages. The second I heard about the general idea I thought to myself that all is forgiven for Talladega Nights and this pairing of Ferrell and Reilly as infantile brothers was the greatest stroke of genius ever. As predicted, this pair are great together and they bounce off each other really well. Although they play really similar characters, they both have their own personality that they bring to the film.
However, it's hard not to be a bit disappointed with how the film turned out. Similarly to Talladega Nights, the creative team seem to get a bit caught up in having fun with improv and it all gets a little lost in the mayhem. I like dick and fart jokes as much as the next guy...but certainly not as much as THESE guys. Not to be a prude or anything, but there's just too much of it here. They start to get unfunny after a whole. And who wants to see Will Ferrell's ball sack rubbed all over a drum set. No-one!
Step-brothers is by no means more disappointing than Talladega Nights which was downright retarded, but it's slightly too over-the-top for it's own good. However, I dare you not to howl laughing at certain points in the film. It's difficult not to join in with the enthusiasm shown by the actors involved. Kudos must be given to Adam Scott who plays Will Ferrell's brilliantly awful brother who is, I guess, the villain of the piece. He's a smug, horrible guy who we just loooove to hate. His performance was great and I seriously felt like punching him throughout the movie...a sign of a job well done.
So, to sum up, this movie is good, way better than Talladega Nights, but suffers a little from "coulda been" syndrome. It let itself go a little too wild, not grounding itself in reality, which lessens the impact of two such crazy lead characters. It's fun, you'll laugh, but it's a pretty standard film from what could've been a classic.
- Charlene Lydon 11/08/08