Director: Sean Anders
Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini
Any project that Will Ferrell is associated with always has the added pressure of living up to the great run of comedic masterpieces he has been part of in the past. Be it his portrayal of the sexist news anchor Ron Burgundy in the cult Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy in 2004 or his memorable performance as binge drinker Frank the Tank in an otherwise forgettable Old School. Compared to those, his recent work has hardly made a mark in public consciousness. Daddy’s Home is no different. Although fun in parts, there is little about the movie that will be remembered in a few months from now.
After their hilarious last outing; The Other Guys, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg unite once again. One of the key components to their comedy is the contrasts in their physical characteristics. After they meet, what follows is a series of sequences where they try to one-up each other. Director Sean Anders tries to utilize this, but it gets repetitive.
Brad Whitaker(Ferrell) plays a simple hearted, and overtly sensitive radio executive who is a step father to two children, until his world is turned upside down after the return of their biological father Dusty Mayron(Mark Wahlberg). To his credit, Ferrell does not resort to the goofy ignorance of his previous outings and plays it straight. The movie is a notch above his previous outing Get Hard, but still falls very short of some of his great duo oriented movies such as Step-brothers, Talladega Nights, and Blades of Glory. Linda Cardellini is pleasant as the mother but is often sidelined.
Ferrell, who has made a living off of playing the socially inept extremely brash or passive guy, plays the latter here. Ferrell is known to succeed in pairs or groups and does the same here. Whereas Mark Wahlberg , who has demonstrated his comic potential in the past with movies such as Ted, The Other Guys, and a cameo in Date Night is in great form. The lack of a strong supporting cast costs the movie dearly. The two try to but cannot hold the movie together.
Ferrell’s slump seems to continue, with his recent trend of making sporadically funny movies.
Notably, stand-up comic, Hannibal Buress who is known for consistently delivering in bit parts in gets the best lines in the movie, and ends up stealing almost every scene he is, one of which involves Ferrell trying to recreate a moment which has passed by, by trying to make it more touching and dramatic.
Another notable appearance is by wrestler John Cena, who was last seen in a hilarious appearance in Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck.
The trademark Ferrell humor is intact and surprisingly, he tones down his performance. Despite all this both Wahlberg and Ferrell don’t do anything they haven’t done previously. There seems to be a lack of direction in the movie. Thomas Haden Church as the socially inappropriate boss hands in a tired performance which isn’t helped by lackluster writing.
Ferrell’s slump seems to continue as he continues with his recent trend of making sporadically funny movies which are disappointing for the most part.
Like many of his past works, a large of the movie here involves Ferrell getting into a childish battle of supremacy with another adult.
Although this was novel a few years ago, the charm is wearing off, and even the most loyal of fans might be getting a bit bored.