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  Publicity Stills of
"Step Brothers"
(Courtesy of Columbia TriStar)

Genre: Comedy
Director: Adam McKay
Cast: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Richard Jenkins, Mary Steenburgen, Adam Scott, Katherine Hahn
RunTime: 1 hr 38 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Rating: M18 (Crude sexual humour and sexual scene)
Official Website: http://www.stepbrothers-movie.com/

Opening Day: 11 September 2008


Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, who last teamed in the box-office smash Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, now star in Step Brothers, directed by Adam McKay (Talladega Nights). In Step Brothers, Ferrell plays Brennan Huff, a sporadically employed thirty-nine-year-old who lives with his mother, Nancy (Mary Steenburgen). Reilly plays Dale Doback, a terminally unemployed fortyyear-old who lives with his father, Robert (Richard Jenkins). When Robert and Nancy marry and move in together, Brennan and Dale are forced to live with each other as step brothers. As their narcissism and downright aggressive laziness threaten to tear the family apart, these two middle-aged, immature, overgrown boys will orchestrate an insane, elaborate plan to bring their parents back together. To pull it off, they must form an unlikely bond that maybe, just maybe, will finally get them out of the house.

Movie Review:

In my opinion, Will Farrell hasn't be able to capture the hilarious magic for an audience after Talladega Nights, with rather ordinary outings in Blades of Glory and Semi-Pro, and all 3 being sports related. Perhaps the best way to break out of a rut, is to actually consciously move away from this wanting to make a funny movie from the sports arena, and teaming up with co-star from Talladega Nights, John C. Reilly and director Adam McKay, they headed off in a different direction, and came up with Step Brothers.

And you can't really fault them for trying, but two grown up actors playing immature adults? They might have pulled it off, if not for the really repetitive and whiny nature of the two characters they play. Both of them star as grown men who refuse to move out of their single parent's home, and refusing to grow up, being kings of their respective households, enjoying life as it is without responsibility, spending time just doing exactly what they enjoy doing, such as working out the right hand, and making music in a home made studio. That is, until their parents meet, fall in love in 5 minutes, and decide to get married. Hence the title.

There's nothing really sophisticated about the laughs as they stem from the usual sibling rivalry and the drawing of out-of-bound lines that neither should cross. Expect the usual from Hollywood comedies these days to be really vulgar as they subscribe to that same old Apatow formula with acerbic statements thrown all over laced with gratuitous F-words, or if all else fails, there's always that good ol' toilet humour with crass sexual anatomy thrown in for good measure. If these are not the type of humour you enjoy, then you'll be advised to steer clear of Step Brothers. Being one who has a high threshold of tolerance for these lack of refinement passing off as humour, even I was hard pressed to try and find it funny this time round.

Otherwise, it contains a rather pro-family story beneath its crazy veneer,
especially when coming from the joining of two independent families as one unit, with the sacrifices and compromises that come with such a union. Mary Steenburgen and Richard Jenkins play the new parents of Ferrell and Reilly, and while their long term retirement plan is to live the good life where they can literally sail into the sunset, they have to grapple with figuring out what to do with two boys, erm, men, sharing the same home, and worse, the same room where they can unleash their nonsensical mayhem from.

There are quite a number of sub plots in the movie which bloat it to about 100 minutes, but for the most parts these sub plots are rather half baked, what with the playground politics, the brother's realization of their common interests and their need to find themselves a career through the setting up of their dream company. Scenes play out like skits, and sometimes the ridiculous and strangely coincidental portions like their sleepwalking disorder, really pushes things a little too much into dreadful boredom. Not to mention the very hastily put together finale which dragged on past its welcome, that you can't wait to head toward the doors, never mind the coda at the end of the credits roll.

Step Brothers is strictly for Farrell fans only, if there are still any left after his recent dismal offerings. Don't expect any comic genius from this movie, as it dragged its feet from start to end.

Movie Rating:

(These brothers really need creatively funny filmmakers to conceive them properly)

Review by Stefan Shih


. Semi-Pro (2008)

. Drillbit Taylor (2008)

. Blades Of Glory (2007)

. Superbad (2007)

. Knocked Up (2007)

. Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)

. Wedding Crashers (2005)

. Bewitched (2005)

. The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)

. Anchorman DVD (2004)

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