July 28, 2008 by  

Step Brothers


Step Brothers

Will Ferrell, Richard Jenkins, and John C. Reilly star in "Step Brothers."

Starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Mary Steenburgen
Directed by: Adam McKay (“Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy”)
Written by: Adam McKay (“Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby”) and Will Ferrell (“Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby”)

They’ve only been in two movies together, but watching Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in their new film “Step Brothers” will make you wonder if they were created in the same agar-filled Petri dish or once connected at the hip.

It’s not only the fact that they have the same dollish, curly hair or that they both look like identical geeks in argyle sweaters on the movie poster. Ferrell and Reilly have the same offbeat comedic timing and when put together makes for one eccentric metronome of humor.

In “Step Brothers,” 30-something-year-old Brennan Huff (Will Ferrell) is not too thrilled when his mother (Mary Steenburgen) falls in love with Dr. Robert Doback (Richard Jenkins) and decides to marry and move in with him and his 30-something-year-old son Dale (John C. Reilly).

The boys, er, men quickly butt heads as they invade each other’s personal space. Basically, they hate each other from the get-go. Not only is their respect parent stealing the other away from them, both their mother and father are beginning to recognize that if they don’t make Brennan and Dale grow up, get jobs, and move out, they are going to be stuck with them for the rest of their lives.

Although the sibling rivalry/blood feud lasts for a good portion of the film (there are some great one-liners like, “I’m Dale, but you have to call me dragon” and “It’s like masturbating in a time machine”), the boys find out they have more in common then they first thought. Similarities in their personality take shape when both realize they share the same dislike for Brennan’s younger, douchebag-of-a-brother Derek (Adam Scott), whose seemingly perfect life is actually quite creepy.

While Ferrell and Reilly manage to keep the laughs coming for the first half of the film, Ferrell as a screenwriter once again proves that he can’t stop a joke from going on too long before it loses steam. At points, Ferrell’s humor is like the awkward silence or poorly extended scenes during parts of “The Family Guy.” You know there is a great comedic moment buried somewhere in the clutter, but its layers are far too thick to claw out.

“Step Brothers” is as juvenile as a film can get, even more so since the juveniles here are played by grown men. Once you get past all the horseplay and back to the short and offensive dialogue, there is some fun to be had with Ferrell and Reilly rampaging through the film like a fat kid through a candy store.

Grade: B-

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