"Step Brothers" anything but a family film
Vail CO, Colorado
EDWARDS, Colorado – Let’s get one thing straight right now: If you fork over the money to see “Step Brothers” expecting anything more than a really funny movie about two grown men who still live with their parents and think night vision goggles are the greatest thing since Hustler magazine than you shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a movie theater for the rest of your life. It is what it is and anyone who expects the genius of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” or the hilarious dose of reality that was “Knocked Up” should lower their expectations immediately despite Judd Apatow’s credit as the film’s producer.
Instead, approach “Step Brothers” the same way you’ve approached every similar Will Ferrell movie ever made. You know what I mean. Oh, there will be laughs, and lots of them, but don’t try to find the theme or subtext. Don’t dig for hidden meanings trying to elevate the film to classic or even cult status. Trust me, you’ll be wasting your time.
“Step Brothers” exists solely to lob gag after gag at the viewer in hopes that they won’t notice the lack of real plot or meaning in the film. The funny thing is, it works. You won’t care one bit what happens to Brennan Huff (Ferrell) or Dale Doback (John C. Reilly) once they’re thrown into their stepbrother relationship (at the tender age of 40) but you will care about how each tops the other in their constant battle for supremacy of the house and job avoidance.
From the moment the movie starts all reality is suspended, so it’s okay when we see Doback kick Huff off the family sailboat while in the middle of the ocean or Huff rub his testicles all over Doback’s precious drumset just to piss him off. In fact, the sight gags and ad-lib jokes are the only thing that keeps “Step Brothers” afloat. It’s a hard R so expect lots of F bombs, penis jokes, fart jokes and sex jokes. If you prefer your comedy as raunchy as it can get without an NC-17 rating, then this is your movie.
The kid in us all
I couldn’t stop laughing through 90 percent of “Step Brothers” because just when one joke would wrap up, you could count on another one waiting right around the corner, and apparently I like to laugh at things like little kids getting beat up by adults and people getting buried alive. And unlike most recent comedies that unabashedly display the best material in their commercials, “Step Brothers” saves its best laughs for those who’ve invested, and it’s definitely worth the price of admission.
In a sense Ferrell and Reilly are the embodiment of the kid in us all and a reminder of how often our childhood dreams ” no matter how trivial ” often go unfulfilled simply because we grow up. That’s about as deep as the movie goes into the study of human nature and frankly I’m glad ” I can watch Dr. Phil for free any day of the week but how often do you get to see Ferrell solve the world’s problems by singing opera?
High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or firstname.lastname@example.org.