STEP BROTHERS (**) - Starring Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Richard Jenkins, Mary Steenburgen, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn and Rob Riggle.
Directed by Adam McKay.
Ultimately this movie didn't make sense. I couldn't get a handle on the rules of its little movie universe. Will Ferrell is Brennan and John C. Reilly is Dale, two emotionally-stunted 40-year-olds who behave like they're 10 sometimes, 15 other times, and on occassional convenience, 40. Being immature usually means a level of innocence, but they're vulgar and rage-filled as well.
Brennan lives with his mom and Dale lives with his dad. When their parents marry, they become step brothers. And they share a room. And they hate each other. And they make childish threats against each other. (Actually sometimes they act like they're 7. Add that to the maturity fluxuation graph.)
Some of the antics are funny, in their isolated, episodic way. I liked Brennan's cocky younger brother Derek (played with Tom Cruisish smugness by Adam Scott) and his repressed, miserable wife (Kathryn Hahn). The romance and chemistry between the parents is underwritten or non-existent or both. And any movie that has a long, sustained fart instantly loses half a star.
It was okay. There were people around me laughing their heads off. I found it to be a little better than Semi-Pro, but a sign that the Ferrell comedy machine is running out of steam.