Will Ferrel Has Lost His Comedy Touch
There have been so many additions to the Will Ferrell franchise over the years than one can barely keep count. Unfortunately, after a brief era of high quality, off-the-wall humour there now seems to be a dry spell of contrived plots and unapologetic clichés.
I have to admit that I am not a fan of Will Ferrell films. He seems to have an almost unhealthy obsession with mercilessly following the conventions of a comedy film to the bitter end…and then going back on himself and sprinkling these otherwise generic films with incongruent outbursts of totally random craziness.
The craziness in his films, some of the time, actually works – the sheer off the wall moments when Brick from The Anchorman, for example, begins to confess his love for random domestic items. (I love….lamp?) Or even some of the totally unexpected deadpan remarks from Ferrell in Stepbrothers. (Will you be quiet down there, you’re waking the neighbours!) It’s these flickers of humour, so unexpected, so wonderfully bizarre, that sometimes allow Ferrell’s’ films to transcend the murky depths of comedy trash. But it doesn’t always work like that.
Cover of Blades of Glory [Blu-ray]
Indeed, films like Blades of Glory are most likely met with a moan of disbelief by anyone fortunate to actually be paid to give their opinion on a film, and have such an article published in a magazine, due to the fact that they are painfully generic. Of course, the legion of Ferrell fans out there would most likely label this shameless practise of producing the same fundamental plots over and over as cult filmmaking- in that, over time, one gets to know the plots and so watching each Will Ferrell film is a bit like stepping into a pair of old shoes- you’ve been there before, and it sort of feels good. A lot of people may even feel pressured to take this opinion, due to the fact that Ferrell has been very much in fashion recently, and anyone who doesn’t explode in hysterics five minutes into his films is branded as frightfully dull, or just devoid of taste.
But don’t get me wrong – Ferrell makes me laugh. Sometimes he genuinely makes me laugh my ass off, my head lolling back with a wild, manic grin etched across my unsavoury features. But, woefully, he also fails to consistently. And it is simply because Ferrell insists on employing the same underdog plot setup and predictable cameos in each and every film, one after the other. They’ve even spawned a host of generic comedy films tapping into the market of generic comedy films, such as Baseketball . This did, admittedly, have one hilarious moment involving a channel called ‘Road kill 24’ but other than that, the two hours or more were truly a rather dire experience.
Having literally just snored through Blades of Glory again, my palate (if such a thing exists for humorous films) hadn’t grown any more affectionate to the gags. As always, there were a few moments of suspended disbelief and half hearted mirth, but it was, once again, a disappointing experience. It truly is a shame, because some of the earlier Ferrell films such as Anchorman were almost hilarious from start to finish, but the franchise has without a doubt gone stale since those golden months.