Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Step Brothers (2008) Review

Step Brothers
Shut the f**k up about this movie!

I missed Step Brothers during its original theatrical run and all I've gotten from people is grief. "You haven't seen Step Brothers?! Oh my god, you have to see it, it is so funny." That is basically what almost all of my friends have been telling me since it was released. But now I have finally seen the movie, and all I can say is, "That was it?"

Plot Synopsis: Dale is a forty year old man who lives with his dad and plays Guitar Hero in his spare time. Brennan is a thirty nine year old man who lives with his mom and aspires to be a singer one day. So basically, both of them are children in men's bodies and they act that way too. When Dale's dad and Brennan's mom hook up one night, they start to date each other until eventually they reach the point of marriage. But when it comes to moving day, Dale does not give Brennan a very welcoming first impression. Needless to say, the two fight and don't get along very well, to the dismay of both their parents. Soon enough though, they begin to realize that they have a lot in common and try to keep the family together.


I can take stupid comedy, in fact I frequently enjoy it, but Step Brothers crosses the point between being inspired and stupidity for stupidity's sake. That's not to say I didn't laugh at the movie though, I did laugh fairly frequently, but the concept began to wear thin about halfway through. The movie doesn't seem to know how to expand on Dale and Brennan's childish nature, so many of the situations that occur come off as outlandish even for a premise like this. Had the movie been edited tighter and shorter, it probably could have been more consistently funny. And unlike most other comedy movies where the characters gradually redeem themselves up to the end, Dale and Brennan's redemption feels forced and overly sentimental.

John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell play Dale and Brennan, respectively, and the two have great chemistry together. They make the transition from aggressive to friendly believable and natural. We believe that they can be assholes to each other one minute, and then pretty much best friends the next. The real problem I had was that Ferrell tended to overdo some of Brennan's characteristics at times, becoming a very annoying. It's kind of odd to see Richard Jenkins in this kind of movie after receiving acclaim for his work in The Visitor, but he plays Dale's dad with a good mix of acceptance and annoyance. Mary Steenburgen is also good as Brennan's mom, and has much more faith in their boys growing up than dad does.


If you have any form of dislike for dumb comedy, then you definitely want to stay away from Step Brothers. Even those that do tolerate it will find this a particularly hit or miss affair, that is sometimes stupidly funny and at other times just plain stupid.


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