Daddy’s Home – Film Review by Fran Winston
Directed by: Sean Anders
Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Whalberg, Linda Cardellini, Thomas Hayden Church
In cinemas December 26th
Following their 2010 collaboration on The Other Guys, Will Ferrell and Mark Whalberg team up again for this comedy that revolves around modern family dynamics. Personally I find Ferrell hit and miss but The Other Guys did tickle my funny bone and initial trailers for this looked promising so I approached it with more optimism than I usually would.
The plot, in a nutshell sees radio executive Brad (Ferrell) living a picture perfect life with his wife Sarah (Cardellini) and his two stepchildren. Unable to have children of his own they fill a void in his life. That is until their father Dusty (Whalberg) arrives back in town. Charismatic, handsome and with a dangerous streak, Brad is immediately threatened by the newcomer who does his best to get his feet back under the table. The rest of the film is basically the two of them competing against each other to show who is the best dad.
It is an obvious fact that you put some of the best scenes in the trailer but the promo for this features pretty much all the scenes from the beginning of the movie and not much else. Watching this I could see why. The two men battling it out for the affection of Sarah and the children gets old pretty quickly and their schemes become more and more outrageous and at times tedious. Instead of building momentum this movie just winds slowly down to its predictable ending after about the 60 minute point.
The premise is a good one and one that many families can relate to in this day and age. However there isn’t really enough to sustain the idea. Even allowing for Ferrell’s OTT silliness this doesn’t always work. Don’t get me wrong – there are some extremely funny moments and I did find myself laughing at points. They are just too inconsistent.
Ferrell and Whalberg work well together and clearly had a blast making this but Hayden Church as Ferell’s lascivious boss simply dials it in and Cardellini is wasted for much of the movie. As is usually the case with a Ferrell comedy, the humour is low brow and at times puerile. This isn’t a bad thing when executed well but again it’s too inconsistent.
This starts well but quickly loses its momentum which is a pity. That said as a post Christmas watch when you are still suffering a turkey hangover it will probably seem hilarious. Not dreadful but not as good as it could have been, this won’t fully tickle your funny bone but will provide a few chuckles – mainly in the first hour.