With the words “sophomore” and “slump” ringing in my ears it’s time for my review of “Step Brothers”. Let’s start the show.
Step Brothers (2008)
There hasn’t been a great comedy for a while now. In my personal opinion there hasn’t been a good one since “Superbad” last year. Unfortunately, “Step Brothers” doesn’t break that streak. It’s good with elements of greatness. It’s no “Anchorman”, let’s put it that way. Hell, it’s not even on the same level as “Talladega Nights”.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but I will kick you repeatedly in the balls!”
The basic plot is that two live-at-home middle aged wasters become competitive step brothers after their single parents get married to each other. It’s pretty standard as far as this type of film goes. Obviously, the plot is just an excuse to watch Ferrell and Reilly act like idiots- the very reason I went to see it. I’m not sure why but the film would start to work and then something jarringly unfunny would happen and you are taken out of it again. It’s very stop/start.
Let’s start with the things that work. Firstly, there are no complaints from me about either Ferrell or Reilly. They proved they have great chemistry in “Talladega Nights” and it shows in “Step Brothers”. Obviously they are perfectly suited for the roles of 40 year old man-children and it’s great watching them play off each other. The bonkers one-liners are back too, with lines like “I’m going to take a pillowcase and fill it full of bars of soap and beat the shit out of you!” and “You have the voice of an angel. I mean, it’s like Fergie meets Jesus.” The film is funniest when it lets the two leads do their own thing. Also it was nice to see Mary “Doc Brown’s wife in Back to the Future III” Steenburgen again.
Now for the things that don’t work. It does seem to be too sweary for its own good. It’s not that I hate bad language or anything, it just seemed a bit too much. It’s like when a 5 year old child learns his new favourite four-letter word and says it often. The first few times are funny, but after the 50th time it’s time to smack the child in the head (joking, people!), y’know? Funny doesn’t need to be sweary all the time. I think “Step Brothers” was trying to be a bit of everything. Part gross-out comedy, part satirical, part pop culture referencing- you get the idea. Trouble is, it is always hard to pull something like that off. I think what I liked about “Superbad”, “The 40 Year Old Virgin” and “Anchorman” was the fact that they were focused on what they wanted to do, whereas “Step Brothers” was trying to please everyone, which is always an impossible task. The cold, hard fact is that I expected it to be funnier than it was. That’s not to say it wasn’t funny, just not funny enough.
“Goddamn it, you’re seventeen, stop being a fucking dinosaur and get a job!”
So, would I recommend seeing it? Not sure to be honest. All I know is that I walked away throughly entertained but slightly disappointed as well (also known as KOTCS* syndrome)
*”Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”