Saturday, July 26, 2008
Comedies are critic proof. How does one even begin to try to critique a comedy film? Well, this guy is going to try to do that, so lets get started..
Pretty much, Step Brothers is a story about two 40 somethings who still live with their parents, and their said parents get married. Dale lives with his father, Dr. Richard Doback, and has been since his mother passed away when he was young. Brennan is a 39 year old man caught in grown adolescence, and lives with his divorced mother. The two decide that the house isn't big enough for the two of them, so they fight to gain the "control" of the home. However, after a late night encounter with Brennan's younger brother, the two become close friends. However, things change, and the relationship between the step brothers does as well.
Now, the biggest criticism one can make with a comedy is about the simple fact of, did it make you laugh? My response to this question, just barely enough to recommend this film. As with most Will Ferrell films, especially ones helmed by Adam McKay, the jokes are not highbrow, and the actors are not afraid to put themselves in awkward situations (tea bagging a drum set anyone??). However, the past two films that Ferrell has headlined, Semi Pro and now Step Brothers, have both been sort of toned weirdly, with the best example being SP. The thing with that is, the jokes are dirty, and don't take the most brains to get, but then you get people really being kind of ass holes to each other, in an otherwise joyful flick. I know it's a minuscule thing, but it's something that bugged me. Also, it's not shot in an inventive way, and before SB was a trailer for Pineapple Express, and some shots in the trailer make it seem like there may be more to it visually than a simple pot comedy, which can't be said for this film.
Performance wise, the film is also batting .500. The two stars, Reily and Ferrell are very funny, most of the time at least, but are let down by horrible performances from Adam Scott as Brennan's brother, and Dale's father, played by Richard Jenkins. The jokes don't always hit, and if you aren't a fan of potty humor, which includes me, then more won't hit. I love this analogy, and it really works here, but this film is kind of like taking in empty calories. It fills you up at the time, but after words, you feel empty and craving real laughs. It's truly an extended SNL skit with more risque dialogue and some really weird and unnecessary scenes. It is a 90 minute film, and it really felt like it. There is an affair subplot between the wife of Brennan's brother and Dale that goes nowhere interesting, it just goes into the toilet, and so do many of the jokes here. However, the thing here is, it did make me laugh at moments. Truly, I can say all of these negative things about the art of the film and the performances, but when it comes to comedy and comedy films, you are only really there to laugh. Would I have liked the laughs to last with me, like films such as Rushmore or other great comedic films, sure, but in a summer that has shown us every superhero we could imagine, and even some of the darkest moments we are likely to see all year, it was fun to get out and laugh a few times. That is why this film is getting a recommendation, if ever so slight of one, for this critic here. RENT IT with some buddies. Do not go see it in theatres. Save your money for Tropic Thunder or Pineapple Express. Hell, go see The Dark Knight again, or give X FILES A CHANCE!
Step Brothers - 6/10
Is it just me, or are most of these jokes saved by the delivery of Reily and Ferrell, and that most are reliant on swearing?
Alright, hope you guys enjoy that review, and I would love to hear what you guys have to say about this buddy comedy.
Go see something good!!!
Oh, and remember, don't lose your Dinosaur...
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