Director: Adam McKay
Runtime: 98 minutes (theatrical version), 106 minutes (unrated version), 105 minutes (extended home video version)
MPAA Rating: R
Step Brothers is about Brennan (Will Ferrell) and Dale (John C. Reilly), two man-children still living with their parents who find themselves becoming step brothers. This, right here, is a movie that you watch simply for the laughs. Plot, character depth, and enlightening messages on the nature of life are almost nowhere in sight. Yes, it’s hilarious, but it’s also so lightweight that it might blow away in a gentle wind.
The humor found in this film is decidedly low-brow and immature. We’re talking gags dealing with slapstick, poop, farting, swearing, sleepwalking, and nudity. It’s all very silly and raunchy, but it knows what it is. Some critics have pointed out that this could’ve been a swell satire on the increasing “kidifying” and dumbing-down of society. Nope, this is not that movie. Enjoy your dog poop jokes, critics.
The characters in Step Brothers are not Shakespearean, but they get the job done. There are a few cameos from big names. Pacing is joltingly quick at times. Surprisingly, the flick approaches what could be described as “poignancy” in the third act, but it’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sort of thing. Who needs memorable human drama when you have “the f-bomb” being used (over and over)?
So, this is a dumb movie, but it knows it. It’s a breezy, easy-to-watch adult-oriented comedy that has a lot of solid belly laughs if you don’t take yourself too seriously. It doesn’t quite stand up with the best of the best in the comedy genre, being a bit too inconsequential and, to use a phrase employed earlier in the review, light-weight. Still, this is one that fans of the stars will not want to miss. The Steven Seagal film that the dynamic duo watch and get a kick out of is Above the Law (1988).
My rating is 8 outta 10.