Written by Hombre Divertido
Perhaps Tropic Thunder will be the comedic hit of the summer; Step Brothers certainly isn’t.
Oh, Step Brothers is funny. The script is shallow, and the characters underdeveloped, but enough comedy is generated by witnessing how many different ways the talented duo of Will Farrell and John C. Riley can drop the F-bomb to warrant a viewing for those looking for comedy in what has been a bleak summer. There is enough profanity in this film to spawn a drinking game. Like a drinking game, Step Brothers will leave you wondering the next morning as to what you thought was so funny during the experience the night before, but, for whatever reason, you will laugh as the game is being played.
Written by Farrell and director Adam McKay who first paired Farrell and Riley in Talladega Nights, Step Brothers chronicles the story of two middle-aged losers who still live at home. The “boys” are brought together when the mother of Brennan (Farrell) played by the versatile Mary Steenburgen marries the father of Dale (Reilly) played by Richard Jenkins and they all move under one roof. The movie has consistent success as the two lead characters hate each other and are tormented by Derek (Adam Scott in a one-dimensional but funny performance) the successful younger brother of Brennan.
As attempts are made to progress the plot, the laughs are left behind, and more outrageous characters are introduced in attempts to salvage the final thirty minutes of this ninety-five minute outing. The two main characters eventually make a completely muddled transition to adulthood and manage to squelch the laughs with the premise of the film in one fell swoop.
McKay proves he is a far better director than writer as he manages to glean enough laughs from the profanity and physical antics worthy of The Three Stooges found in a script that is nothing more than a weak idea that might make a decent Saturday Night Live sketch.
Recommendation: The laughs here are far cheaper than the price of a movie ticket, but there are laughs to be found, and one could certainly do worse this summer. You won’t remember much of what you thought was so funny when you saw it, so enjoy what you can when you do.