>> Step Brothers (7.5/10)

Step Brothers

Someday, in the future, someone will write an amazing thesis paper on this film, tapping into its satirical sucker punch right into the throat of modern parenting–a permissive culture, raising their children with vague concepts instead of actual instruction, mistaking a lassez-faire approach with unconditional love, and dismissing boorishness and ignorance under the guise of allowing their child to explore his feelings.  But until that day comes, this will be known as the movie where Will Farrell rubs his ballsack on a drum set.

I honestly believe there is something wise going on here, whether writer/director Adam McKay and his co-writer and star Will Farrell are aware of it or not.  Casting Farrell and John C. Reilly as violatile man-children, forced into being stepbrothers when their single parents marry, sounds like only enough of a story to sustain a skit, and not a feature film.  I can acknowledge that for some, they might have a knee jerk negative reaction to seeing Farrell in this kind of role, one that he can do in his sleep (and sort of does so in his sleep here.  His character Brennan is a destructive sleepwalker).  I know Reilly’s character Dale is an almost unlikeable brute.  I can recognize that the humor is dumb and noisy, that the concept is outlandish to the point of being unbelievable, and that the two main characters are borderline annoying.  The truth is, I don’t care.  I liked it anyway.

I laughed a lot, and, trust me, this film is completely aware of its own ridiculousness,  Case in point, the grand finale at the Catalina Wine Mixer, an ending which we as an audience have come to expect from these kinds of comedies, where everyone redeems themselves sweetly at the end, all conflict is resolved, and they all live happily ever after.  Except Step Brothers force-feeds us this ending, cramming the sacchrine down our laughing throats, making it too sweet, too tidy, and too unbelievable, to the point of mocking what we expect from broad comedy.  It’s pretty brilliant, actually.

Step Brothers is unfettered lunacy at its best, and if the concept of these two actors playing off each other as gigantic, ignorant, destructive seven year-olds that are actually forty year-olds sounds appealing to you, then there’s a lot to love here.  If you are interested in what the outcome of a generation of unsupervised, unchallenged  children might look like in another thirty years, this might be a good place to start.  We could be looking at a future populated entirely by Brennans and Dales.  Actually, upon further reflection, Step Brothers just might be a horror movie.

7.5 on a 1 to 10 scale


1 Comment

  1. “Your voice is like a combination between Fergie, and Jesus!!”

    Yeah, I laughed a lot in this movie. Much more than I anticipated that I would considering I didn’t really dig on SEMI-PRO, nor BLADES OF GLORY.

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