‘Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream’ is the George W Bush quotation which opens new Will Ferrell comedy Step Brothers. Such crude expression sets the tone for a sporadically funny but generally gross comedy in which Ferrell (as both writer and performer) attempts to eschew the sport parodies of Blades of Glory, Tallageda Nights and Semi-Pro in favour of manchild clowning of Old School.
Step Brothers pairs Ferrell with his Talladega Nights co-star John C Reilly as Brennan and Dale, two grown men who despite pushing 40 are still living at home. An unlikely twilight romance between their parents (Mary Steenburgen and Richard Jenkins) brings them together, leading the step brothers to repel each other then team up to form an alliance.
This tasteless comedy opens with Ferrell delving both hands into his trousers. After that, Step Brothers leaves no gross out moment uncharted, including a close up shot of Brennan’s scrotum being laid on Dale’s drum-kit, a bathmat used in lieu of toilet paper, and the licking of dog excrement off the pavement.
Anyone up for scatological detail will enjoy Step Brothers, with Ferrell’s co-writer and producer Judd Apatow likely responsible for the sexual frankness. But for all it’s enthusiasm for poop humour, Step Brothers seems to be a juvenile and retrograde step for the talent involved.
General release from Fri 29 Aug.