The more I think about it, the more I think Step Brothers could have been a really good movie if Will Ferrell's crew wasn't so in love with their own shtick and didn't rely so heavily on over-the-top improvisation. The plot involving Ferrell's younger brother (and the younger brother's family) hint at a comedy that's just as funny and weird (they can keep the singing in the car scene) but a little more subversive and directly taking on issues of "growing up" and family politics. Things like John C. Reilly having an affair with the brother's wife don't go anywhere in the current movie, but imagine Step Brothers if it was Will Ferrell meets The Squid and the Whale. All the more "esoteric" visual humor worked for me: the synchronized sleepwalking, the dream sequences at the end, all the inventive clever things that you wouldn't immediately imagine when someone told you it was a movie about grown up stepbrothers. If you throw in a few more things like that and take out the "Will Ferrell says something outrageous that doesn't make sense" bits, you have a seriously trippy movie. I think Ferrell, Reilly, and Adam McKay are so funny that they can take a premise way over the top and I still like it. But if they tried for something other than belly laughs every five seconds, it could be more satisfying, and at least more interesting.
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