Step Brothers

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Here's my review of Step Brothers. Didn't love it; I think Ferrell and Co. are funnier when they're forced to reign it in a bit, a restriction obviously absent with an R-rating. Still, the premise is good and plays right into the sort of goofiness that the principals are known for, and just enough of it works. I doubt it will have any replay value whatsoever, but it was amusing enough to fill a Friday night.

Step Brothers

Somewhere between the Chewbacca mask and the appearance of testicles, it hits you: Step Brothers will do anything to try to make you laugh.

Of course, all comedies want to make you laugh, but most are only willing to go so far to make it happen. Logically, there comes a point where one’s dedication to the joke and one’s dignity come into conflict. At this point, most of us choose to preserve the latter rather than pursue the laugh, but there’s always someone willing to keep going. This movie was made by those types of people.

Directed by Adam McKay (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby), Step Brothers is about two middle-aged professionals (Mary Steenburgen and Richard Jenkins) who meet, fall in love, and marry. As it turns out, they both have roughly 40-year-old sons who refuse to leave the nest; Brennan (Will Ferrell) and Dale (John C. Reilly). They’re forced to live together and, like any two children living together, they quickly form a rivalry.

The two of them have a lot in common, so their hatred is short-lived. Before long, Brennan’s showing Dale his Samurai sword (signed by Randy Jackson, if you can believe that), and Dale’s showing Brennan his night vision goggles. They find a common cause in their mutual loathing of Brennan’s brother Derek and their mutual admiration of velociraptors, and eventually become best friends. Not that this has any effect on the level of chaos they produce.

This is the kind of film you suspect exists only because someone decided to turn a camera on. One can’t help but get the impression that there’s very little difference between what writers McKay and Ferrell do for fun, and what they do for a living. Their respective filmographies represent little more than those points in their life when the cameras were rolling.

Of course, just because they found it funny, it doesn’t mean you will, too. For every gag in Step Brothers that makes you laugh, there’s a gag that just makes you gag. This film is rated R for a reason, and it’s not just because of the cursing (though there’s plenty of that). Letting Ferrell off his PG-13 leash may have sounded like a good idea in theory, but looking back it was always his limitations that made him funny. Half the comedy of Anchorman came from watching the characters struggle to find ways to say extreme things without using extreme words. In Step Brothers, the only struggle is to do something more outrageous than they did in the scene before.

You wouldn’t see this movie for its story, but the absence of a decent plot is surprisingly conspicuous. Perhaps we’ve been spoiled by the films Judd Apatow actually writes (he merely produced Step Brothers), which always manage to smuggle some insight about its characters’ behavior between the craziness. Even insanity, it would seem, benefits from a little framework.

One undeniable virtue present in this film is that most of the people who see it will know what kind of comedy to expect. If you enjoyed the sagas of Messrs. Burgundy and Bobby (I did), it’s a safe bet you’ll enjoy a good deal of Step Brothers. Just don’t bring the kids.


"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."

Good review. I just seen it yesterday, not expecting much from it, but being pleasantly surprised. This movie, for better or worse, is my style of humor; stupidity. I think compared to other movies like this it has it's share of absurd humor. It takes the same plot of a man-child having to spread his wings, i.e. Billy Madison, and adds a pseudo-sibling element to the insanity. I especially love the childish blurbs and one-liners that get thrown around like a Nerf ball. A great example is when Ferrell's character threatens his step-father and asks him for money in the same sentence. In the end, I liked it.

...uh the post is up there...

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The King of Movies
I saw it today. A very funny movie. I think it is Ferrels best movie since Anchorman.

I think it is the funny verson of Billy Madison. Sandler's charicter of a grown up acting like a child in BM was just not funny. But in this movie John C Riley and Will Ferrell playing pretty much the same charicter that Sandler played a decade ago, for some reason was funny.

I saw this Movie......The Story of the Movie is good......I like this Movie.........It's a very funny movie.............

My review:

Step Brothers is the 2008 comedy that reunited Will Ferrell and John O'Reilly, two years after TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE LEGEND OF RICKY BOBBY, which, like a lot of Will Ferrell's work, is really stupid, not steeped in a lot of realism, but still makes me laugh.

Ferrell plays Brennan and O'Reilly plays Dale, two grown men still living with their widowed parents, whose lives are brought together when Brennan's mother marries Dale's father and they all move in together. We then watch as Brennan and Dale go from bitter enemies to family and eventual business partners.

A broad mind and the ability to accept a lot are definitely required to find enjoyment here. If you can accept the fact that Brennan and Dale are still being supported by their parents despite the fact that they are 40 years old and you can accept the disrespectful way Brennan and Dale talk to their parents and the behavior that the parents tolerate in their own homes, you might find this film pretty funny.

The film is given a touch of class via the casting of Mary Steenburgen as Brennan's mother and Richard Jenkins as Dale's father, who energetically inhabit these hard to swallow roles without ever going over the top.

Mention should also be made of Adam Scott as Brennan's obnoxious younger brother and Kathryn Hahn as his wife, who develops the hots for Dale after he punches her husband in the face.

Director Adam McKay directs with a pretty easy hand here, allowing Ferrell and O'Reilly to do what they do and it is their fabulous comic chemistry that is at the center of why this movie, as stupid as it might be, still generates major laughs. 6.5/10

Finished here. It's been fun.
Step Brothers is where its at! I've seen it at least 15X. One of my favorite comedies ever, and one of the most insanely quotable films ever.