Saturday, January 16, 2016

Movie Review #362: "Daddy's Home" (2015)

Movie"Daddy's Home"
Ticket Price: $9.75
Director: Sean Anders
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 36 minutes
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Brad Whitaker (Will Ferrell) loves his wife Sara (Linda Cardellini) and his step-kids Megan (Scarlet Estevez) and Dylan (Owen Vaccaro). He has been working hard on creatings bonds with these children. Just as he starts to become accepted by his step-children, their much cooler biological father Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) shows up unexpectedly and starts to interject himself in their lives. 

Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell, who worked together in "The Other Guys" several years ago, team up once again in a crass battle-of-the-fathers in their latest comedy "Daddy's Home." Will Ferrell plays step-dad Brad Whitaker, who is straight-laced and sort of square, but is heavily involved his step-kid's lives. Brad is very regimented and kind of boring, but is obviously extremely loving and caring towards everyone he encounters, mostly his family. He's rather bland in his day-to-day life, and he even works at a smooth jazz station...what could be more blah than that? This is less of an obnoxious role for Ferrell as he usually plays the loudest, most annoying person in the room. Of course, it doesn't stay this way for long. Mark Wahlberg's Dusty, however, is the opposite of Brad and is the epitome of cool. He's strong, charming, outgoing, fun, handsome, drives around on an Indian Motorcycle, is well traveled, is good with his hands, and outsmarts Brad at almost every turn. When you think of a "cool" looking actor, Wahlberg really could come to your mind after a few seconds to think about it, and he has been playing this type of role most of his least more lately. Linda Cardellini is good as the more levelheaded Sara, and her kids Megan, played by Scarlet Estevez, and Dylan, played by Owen Vaccaro, are cute as well.

While the acting here is fine all around, the film, however opens up pretty roughly with what appears to be a blatant commercial for the Ford Flex car sold off as an ironic joke within the first 45 seconds of the movie beginning. As the movie progresses, it starts to looks as if it's going to be just another in the long string of raunchy comedies with a myriad of dick and ball jokes and endless over-the-top slapstick gags focusing on how much of loser Brad is. Such is the case for the majority of Ferrell's films, but unlike 15 years ago, they just aren't all that funny anymore and he sort of desperately needs a new gag. Also, for a movie just over 90 minutes in length, we sure felt every second of it. There came a point where we started to think they ought to be wrapping the shtick up because it felt like we had been in the theater for two hours. Just as quickly as we had thought this, the feeling went away as "Daddy's Home" takes a surprising turn for the better. It starts to cement a strong message that leads to a rather hilarious final 20 minutes and a wonderfully hilarious ending sequence of moments and events that offers up some semblance of redemption in the hopes that we will forget all the crappy moments in the previous two thirds of the movie. This final third act helps elevate it to the level of tolerable, but unfortunately, we can't really go as far as saying this is a truly good comedy. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg's excellent chemistry is enough to keep us invested and moderately interested, but it's not enough to make it amazing automatically, and unlike "The Other Guys," it feels like they really had to work for the chuckles this time around.

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 4/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 30%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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