At the 2002 World Winter Sport Games, rival men's singles skaters Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell), a skillful skater but raunchy sex addict, and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder), an equally talented but sheltered and effeminate skater, tie for gold. While standing on the awards podium, the two have an argument that escalates into a fight and ends with the World Games mascot being accidentally set on fire. As a result, the National Figure Skating Association strips both men of their medals and bans them from men's singles competition for life. Jimmy's competitive adoptive father, billionaire Darren MacElroy (William Fichtner), immediately disowns him and leaves him stranded on the side of the road.
Three and a half years later, both men have grudgingly taken on alternative occupations: Jimmy is working at a winter sporting goods store, but gets demoted to stockroom duty when he refuses to listen to a little girl when she tells him her skating boot has been tied too tightly, while Chazz plays the role of "The Evil Wizard" in a children's skating show called "Grublets On Ice", until he is fired for ruining the show by being in a drunken stupor on stage. Jimmy's obsessive stalker, Hector (Nick Swardson), tells him of a loophole in the ban allowing him to compete in pair skating. In hopes of entering the upcoming World Winter Sport Games, Jimmy contacts his old coach, Robert (Craig T. Nelson), but is unable to find a partner. Jimmy's search for a last-minute partner leads him to Chazz, and Robert convinces the two to skate as the first-ever same-sex pairs team, because the regulations fail to state the genders of the pairs.
Robert informs them that to win, they will need to get along and perform an element that has never been performed successfully: The "Iron Lotus", an extremely complicated maneuver that Robert developed years ago. However, it is also dangerous: the only attempt of the maneuver was "behind the Bamboo Curtain" in North Korea, and resulted in the man decapitating the woman with his skate blade. Nonetheless, they decide to attempt it as Robert is convinced that two males would be better suited for the move because of the physics of a same-sex team (this is a parody of skating-themed film The Cutting Edge, where the conflicting main characters also decide to practice a dangerous skating routine). In the meantime, brother and sister competitors Stranz (Will Arnett) and Fairchild (Amy Poehler), worried that their spot as the top team is threatened when Jimmy and Chaz perform well at a Winter Sports Games qualifier, command Katie (Jenna Fischer), their younger sister, to disrupt the duo by going out with Jimmy and then having sex with Chazz. Since Katie has fallen in love with Jimmy after going on a date with him, her elder siblings threaten to harm him if she does not comply. Katie gets Chazz's attention after attending a sex addict's meeting as the newest member, then invites Chazz to her room, and tries to seduce him. Chazz refuses out of respect for Jimmy, delighting Katie, but cannot resist grabbing her breasts. Jimmy witnesses this and is outraged at Chazz's and Katie's betrayals. Chazz attempts numerous times to apologize to Jimmy, but is unsuccessful.
In an attempt to sabotage the performance the following day, Stranz and Fairchild kidnap both Chazz and Jimmy, but both are able to escape. Chazz and Jimmy arrive in the ice rink just in time to compete, where they reconcile quickly and begin their routine. Fairchild, seeing the two doing well, throws pearls onto the ice, causing Chazz to trip and break his ankle, rendering him unable to perform his role in the Iron Lotus. Jimmy then offers to switch places with him. Although they have never practiced the other's roles, they perform it perfectly, winning the competition. Jimmy reconciles with Katie, and Stranz and Fairchild are arrested due to the kidnappings and Stranz accidentally shooting a mascot. Stranz and Fairchild begin arguing, then kiss each other incestuously before they are handcuffed by the authorities. Jimmy and Chazz receive the gold medal and fly off into the sky via rockets on their skates. During the credits, Hector is seen playing dolls of himself, Jimmy and Chazz.Will Ferrell as Charles "Chazz" Michael Michaels
Jon Heder as James "Jimmy" MacElroy
Zachary Ferren as Young James "Jimmy" MacElroy
Will Arnett as Stranz Van Waldenberg
Amy Poehler as Fairchild Van Waldenberg
William Fichtner as Darren MacElroy
Jenna Fischer as Katie Van Waldenberg
Craig T. Nelson as Coach Robert
Romany Malco as Jesse
Nick Swardson as Hector
Rob Corddry as Bryce
William Daniels as Commissioner Ebbers
Luke Wilson as Sex Class Counselor
The film's cast and crew includes dozens of people with backgrounds in skating:
All of the scenes at the United States Figure Skating Championships and World Wintersport Games were shot at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. The stadium used for the outside shoots is the unique Montreal Olympic Stadium, built for the 1976 Olympics. The outdoor chase scenes were also shot on-location in Montreal. The building used for athlete housing in Montreal was the unique Habitat 67, built for Expo 67. The film was delayed for a small undetermined period of time when Jon Heder broke his ankle while doing a skating program for the film.
Blades of Glory grossed $118.2 million in the U.S. and Canada and $26.3 million in other territories, for a total of $145.7 million.
The film grossed $33 million on its opening weekend on March 30–April 1, 2007 with 3,372 theaters, averaging $9,790 per screen, beating out Disney's Meet the Robinsons to be the number 1 film. It made $22.5 million in its second weekend, losing only 32% of its audience and retaining the Number 1 spot.
The film received positive reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 69%, based on 183 reviews, with an average rating of 6.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Thanks to the spirited performances of a talented cast - particularly Will Ferrell and Jon Heder as rivals-turned-teammates -- Blades of Glory successfully spoofs inspirational sports dramas with inspired abandon." On Metacritic the film has a score of 64 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
The Monthly critic Luke Davies accepted the film as a fun romp, comparing it to Will Ferrell's previous movies Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and wrote positively of Ferrell's performance, describing that "there is a parodic exhilaration to everything Ferrell does; there's always the sense that any scene is precariously close to being a blooper reel." However, Davies conceded that, like the other two films, the plot was "formulaic ... [with] an obviousness to the set-ups, a no-nonsense compression, a sometimes clunky transition from one sequence to the next" but that it was the film's ability to "venture to fantastically absurd places – to set aside the rapid and hokey forward movement – and there to idle in neutral, in zones of pure comic exploration" and offer "moments of expansive hilarity ... that made the films worthwhile." Davies concluded that "Blades of Glory remains completely deadpan. Everything is self-knowing, a wink at the audience, and cheap shots are made only at the expense of the characters" and that "the film has warmth, rather than just being a series of high-grade lowbrow sketches and gags" due to "the protagonists [ability to] inhabit and fill their world, rather than come up against it, enhanc[ing] the comedy."
The film was released on DVD and HD DVD on August 7, 2007 and released on Blu-ray Disc on May 20, 2008.