Step Brothers (2008)


Goofball at the complete highest degree, while this stupid slick of humour isn’t exactly clever or appealing to all, it’s pulled off with comedic talents by the two leading men in question and at least for this tale the silly nonsense factor suits it down to the ground. It’s slow in places, too much in others and upon completion this movie makes you feel nothing to be honest.

Unemployed, dumb, childish, rude and still living with their respective single parents, Dale Doback (John C. Reilly) and Brennan Huff (Will Ferrell) come into collision when having to live together thanks to their rents falling for one another. Arguments ensue until one hard punch to Brennan’s brother Derek (Adam Scott) by Doback leads them to find things in common making them giddy unbreakable best friends, but how long will it last and how much of insufferable behaviour can Robert (Richard Jenkins) and Nancy (Mary Steenburgen) take?

Scripted by Ferrell and Adam McKay from a story also dreamed up by them and Reilly, it’s clear their strong style of insane madcap buffoonish is all them and no one else. Landing the ball in the good court, it can be said that when Ferrell and Reilly hit a stride of immature behaviour it gains in funny audience reaction but smacking the same ball into the bad court makes you also see how repetitive dumb tomfoolery grows tired and makes the film feel longer than it should do.

There are stand out moments, their joint interviews ticking the comedy box, the makeshift bunk bed and Derek’s wife’s attraction to Dale are confident funny aspects but then other things feel stretched, try hard and don’t raise a smile let alone cause you to laugh out loud. The main problem is the film itself doesn’t feel overly bold, the story isn’t exciting I feel, crude jokes and slapstick seem to run the show. If you lap that up then you’ll probably adore this film as one of the finest comedy creations to hit silver screens but there’s something about this childish theme that feels TV worthy only.

Sadly, I found the film quite an ordeal to get through, it’s all acted well but idiotic insanity can surely only go so far…well not in the case of this film, as they go to infinity and beyond to try and push the envelope in dumb-dumb land. At least it works in ways, it did make me laugh a couple of times and seeing the leads immerse into their inner fool is fun but it’s been done before, at least by Ferrell that only a sparkling script could have saved the stale odour emanating from it all, but this script barely blinks a light.

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly look like they’re having a tremendous ball playing their characters and they shine acting opposite each other. It’s evident certain looks or lines are being riffed and in this improv status it feels fresh and you begin to get wrapped up in their performances. Adam Scott comes in as the stereotyped a-hole he’s become known for, he does it so well so I can’t complain. Steenburgen and Jenkins are almost pushed to the side but scrape through as mildly memorable characters in their plight to remain normal and together.

This is Ferrell’s spiel and no-one can do idiot like Ferrell idiot so just from knowing he’s in the film and looking at the poster you know all this film will offer you. There are amusing doses but it wears thin pretty quickly and it’s one of the worst McKay/Ferrell combos. Let’s hope that sequel rumour is exactly that.



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