Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Similar to an Adam Sandler comedy, you’re going to be hard pressed making it through a Will Ferrell movie without laughing at least a couple of times. It’s virtually impossible. Similar to those Adam Sandler movies, a lot of the Will Ferrell comedies might make you laugh a few times but are often fairly suspect as movies. This brings us Ferrell’s latest joint which has him teaming up again with actor John C. Reilly and re-teaming with his ‘Anchorman’ director Adam McKay in ‘Step Brothers’, which is a movie I thought was way funnier than the overrated ‘Anchorman’, plus I thought it was funnier still than the last movie these three ganged up on in ‘Talladega Nights’, but ‘Step Brothers’ still probably wasn’t all that great of an actual movie.

It’s almost like magic as Dr. Robert Doback (Richard Jenkins – who was awesome in this) peers across the room during a seminar and sees Nancy Huff (Mary Steenburgen). After a steamy night of krazy passion and the realization that they have a ton of stuff in common, this couple entering act III of their lives decide to get married. Unfortunately one of the things they have in common is that they both have a forty year old developmentally stunted sons in the nest, with neither of them showing any interest in leaving.

Though Dr. Doback is a fairly wealthy man living a pretty large crib, for comedic and dramatic purposes it will be necessary for Nancy’s son Brennan (Ferrell) and Doback’s boy Dale (Reilly) to share a bedroom after the marriage, which does lead to some rather amusing nighttime anecdotes between the two step brothers who absolutely hate each other. The hate starts quite spectacularly with Dale’s rather rousing song to Brennan during breakfast about his balls, and continues even more spectacularly with Brennan ‘tea-bagging’ Dale’s cherished drum kit with the trouble to only escalate exponentially after this, much to their newlywed parent’s pain.

Ah, but like Russia and USA in WWII, what this pair needs is an enemy they hate worse than they hate each other, and Nazi Germany, thy name is Derek (Adam Scott), Brennan’s insufferable, driven, pompous, successful, intolerable and hateful younger brother who has been victimizing Brennan for years. Now Brennan and Dale have learned that they have a lot in common, way too much in common it would appear (John Stamos?) as the step brothers as friends proves to be way more problematic for their parents when the step brothers were merely sworn enemies. Just know that mayhem, hysteria and madness will ensue, rifts will explode and be required to be repaired, there will be clarity where there was once confusion and there will be valuable lessons learned about being true to yourself and keeping your nuts in your pants and holding on to your farts until the interview is over.

Before I tell you how funny this movie was I need to know how I can be down with the Judd Apatow crew because just about everybody connected to Apatow and them about now are getting stupid paid. Admittedly I don’t have any marketable skills or talents but hell, that shouldn’t stop me from getting some of this action too. Anyway ‘Step Brothers’ was funny. Really funny. It was load up your shotgun full of buckshot and fire away funny. Yeah, you’re gonna miss some of that target with your buckshot, but it’s buckshot so not only are you going hit your target on most occasions but probably going to nick the target to left and the right as well.

Now as far as being a regular movie, well, I don’t even know if we can call ‘Step Brothers’ that because not a lot of the ‘narrative’ manages make a whole lot of sense, nor do I guess it was even supposed to. The little plot elements were only there to keep the various comedic bits, almost like sketch comedy, stitched together and keep everything moving along. Not all of jokes were funny of course, say watching a bunch of abusive kids force our heroes to lick dogshit. That ain’t funny. It’s infantile, as are a lot of the jokes in this movie, but it ain’t funny. I have found in my years that almost anything having anything to do with fecal matter is rarely funny. Plus they might have went a little overboard on the profanity. I mean I’m pretty damned foulmouthed, so when someone like me notices that maybe they’re inserting the F-word one too many times as a viable adjective, then perhaps you’re cursing too much. Plus since this was a Judd Apatow joint, where in the hell was Paul Rudd? Is he out of the loop? Can I have his spot if he is?

But despite the fact they cursed too much and despite the fact that there was hardly any story and despite the fact the humor in this movie was so infantile that most five year-olds would get the jokes, Ferrell was funny, Reilly was funny, Adam Scott must be an asshole for real since that’s all he gets to play and Mary Steenburgen looked more like Will Ferrell’s sister than his mother which all added up to ensuing hilarity. And I sure hope those were prosthetic testicles and not Will Ferrell’s God given ball sac.

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