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Step Brothers

September 9, 2008

Up until this point I’d only seen one Will Ferrell movie, the you-mean-they-allowed-this-to-be-made-and-distributed-to-the-public-and-holy-mother-of-God-even-worse-kids? Christmas monstrosity known as Elf. I’m still scarred, but can just about muster up the strength of character to tell you that it was about A Grown Man who thinks he’s a child, or at least an elf, wringing unfunny jokes out of the fact that everyone believes him to be an adult, and should therefore act like one, but doesn’t. Like Big, then, but without the laughs. Still, I expect you learned something about your inner child, or the magic of Christmas, or something. You know, Good Will to All, even if they’re a disturbing Boy-Man who hangs around with kids slightly too much. It had Zooey Deschanel in the shower at one point, so it wasn’t a total waste of time, but fuck me it was a painful experience.

Watching a man whom you’re constantly being told is a “comic genius” (not my words, Carol, the words of Cineworld’s in-house movie magazine) gurn and fart and trip and fall and constantly baffle the adults around him is a desultory experience. Grow the fuck up, I wanted to holler, but it was a kids movie, so I suppose it’s fair enough (in a very narrow band of almost-acceptability).

What then, is Step Brothers‘ excuse? I can just about muster up the strength of character to tell you that it was about A Grown Man who thinks he’s a child, or at least a still-at-home-with-Mom 40 year old, wringing unfunny jokes out of the fact that everyone believes him to be an adult, and should therefore act like one, but doesn’t. Not like Big, in any way. Actually, while we’re here, I should mention there are two grown men acting like kids in this. With much despair and hair-pulling incredulity, the other feckless oaf involved in this celluloid abortion is hitherto respected character actor John C. Reilly (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, The Hours, The Aviator). Admittedly I haven’t seen any of Reilly’s recent efforts, so a quick dekko at IMdB can’t help me as to whether another Ferrell movie (Talladega Nights) and a Jack Black thing (Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny) constitutes a downward-trend. You may say it does, I couldn’t possibly comment.

Step Brothers I can comment on, though, and I must give it some recognition, for it has pushed the envelope in one direction, and that is to say that it may very well be the worst movie I have ever seen.

Believe me, I don’t want to give it that much credit, but Sweet Jesus this is awful. I’m sure there are more deserving buckets of shit out there masquerading as movies, films that fail their supposed audiences through acceptable reasons for our vitriol, like ineptitude, or misogyny, or racism, or sexism, or just being very very very crap by underachieving massively on what they set out to do when the dewy-eyed ing√©nues that were destined to make them first pitched their ill-thought out plans to a cynical studio exec. But the crime here is worse than all of those because this is the result of well-paid, well-connected, very experienced film makers and writers and actors, and Will Ferrell, conspiring to make a great fat dog turd of a film. It stinks. Like the shit Ferrell’s character licks at one stage, like the too-long fart that Reilly’s character exudes at another, like the sight of two millionaire pillocks pissing into the same toilet bowl and ‘crossing streams’ for kicks that they manage to do together, this whole affairs reeks to high heaven.

The most embarassing moment in this entire diaherretic farrago is when Ferrell and Reilly have to pretend to sleepwalk and in so doing wreck a kitchen, and later (because if a joke’s not funny once then let’s have it again) on Christmas Eve, they bring their presents upstairs to throw at their parents. Jerking spastically around and bumping in to furniture is the beginning and end of the film’s comedic ambition, it would seem.

I would rather forego an anaesthetic and ask my Gran to perform a prostate examination than suffer another Will Ferrell movie, but I have an unfunny feeling that idea has already been optioned for Step Brothers 2.

(oh, the irony)

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