Sunday, August 03, 2008
REVIEW: Step Brothers
Director: Adam McKay
Starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Richard Jenkins, Mary Steenburgen, Adam Scott
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
MPAA: Rated R
When I first saw the trailer for Step Brothers, I thought it looked pretty funny. I mean Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly and Judd Apatow producing can only mean a fun time at the movies. After Ferrell's last movie "Semi-Pro" bombed at the box office by grossing only $43 million, it was important for his next movie to be a success or else his career could have been headed downhill. Luckily it was because Step Brothers has made over $62 million in two weeks and should finish above the $100 million mark in the end. After reading the mixed reviews for the film, I decided to give it a look.
Brennan Huff (Will Ferrell) is a thirty-nine year old who has never left home and lives with his divorced mother, Nancy Huff (Mary Steenburgen). Dale Doback (John C. Reilly) is a forty year old who also has never left home and lives with his widower father, Dr. Robert Doback (Richard Jenkins). Both of them are unemployed and have been living off the goodness of their parents their whole lives. Nancy meets Robert and they both fall in love. The two of them soon get married and the two sons are forced to live together in the same room as step brothers. Brennan and Dale hate each other because they don't want to share their parents or change their lives. However, things are about to change.
I know when I walked into this movie, I wasn't expecting to be blown away by the story, but I was at least expecting it to be good. The plot is un-original and not really creative. It starts off pretty nicely and looks like its going to end good, but it doesn't. The plot gets really thin and doesn't go anywhere. I also didn't really like the ending and thought it could have been better even though the last scene where the brothers come back to kick some child ass is simply hilarious. The movie has many funny scenes that will easily make you laugh if you have seen previous Apatow type films. I haven't laughed this much watching a Will Ferrell movie since Anchorman. The jokes are more raunchy and pretty dirty. In one scene we have Ferrell rubbing his balls on Dale's drum set. I do think the movie focuses more on its jokes rather than its story to past the time. The movie also uses foul language excessively when not needed. Sure the previous Apatow related films have all had strong language and I know this movie is a rated R picture, but I think its simply just too much and un-needed.
The cast for the movie is great. Will Ferrell plays as Brennan Huff and he does a great job acting like some thirteen year old kid. Ferrell is at the stage of his life where he can do just about anything and people would still laugh. Even though I'm not the biggest Ferrell fan, I enjoyed his performance here. John C. Reilly plays as Dale Doback and he too is great. He shares great chemistry with Ferrell and its hard to imagine anyone else playing the same role opposite Ferrell. Richard Jenkins plays as Dr. Robert Doback and he gives an enjoyable performance. I haven't seen him this excited and open minded in any of his films. He fits the role of the father just nicely. Mary Steenburgen plays as Nancy Huff and she gives a nice performance. I think she did fine playing as the mother next to Jenkins. We also have Adam Scott playing as Derek and hes just funny. Even though he doesn't look anything like Ferrell's brother, he was funny and enjoyable.
The film was just released last week so the films source is in good shape. I didn't notice much film grain, but I did catch a few scratches here and their. I'm not sure if it was the projector in the theater or if it was the movie itself. The movie has many colors that show. Their not really bright and vibrant like how Forgetting Sarah Marshall was, but its still colorful. The colors seem slightly pale and somewhat darkish compared to Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Skin tones are pretty much accurate and don't seem off. Detail is surprisingly not great. I was expecting a new release film like this to pop with detail, but its just average. Some shots tend to look soft and others just look average.
The soundtrack in the film is also pretty good. The movie doesn't really consist of a score, but it still has tons of music. These music are mostly mixed between rap/hip hop and some techno. They all sound pretty good and seem to go well with the films comical type atmosphere. The movie's bass isn't really loud, but it seems pretty good for a movie like this. I was pleasantly surprised with the films bass and thought it seemed alright for a comedy like this. Its definitely not demo material, but I cant imagine it being any louder considering its story and genre.
Step Brothers is a pretty good comedy that's full of laughs. The story isn't creative and the plot wears thin, but its still entertaining. The cast is great with Ferrell and Reilly having good chemistry while being funny at the same time. The visual look of the film is colorful, but also soft at times. The soundtrack seems very suitable for a movie like this and pretty much works with the story. I cant say that I loved this film, but its still pretty damn entertaining. I think its worth checking out if your looking for some fun, but just don't expect much from the story.