Take a Drink: as the bedtime story unfolds throughout
Take a Drink: or several, just as Ferrell does during the basketball game
Take a Drink: for obvious musical cues
Do a Shot: for the finale cameo – the highpoint of the film
By: Bill Arceneaux (Five Beers) –
Those Other Guys Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell are back together in a tale of domestic absurdity with Daddy’s Home. It’s a movie where two men – the absent biological father (Wahlberg) and the underappreciated and earnest step father (Ferrell) – battle for the love of a family and for their dominant place in a home setting. It’s a movie where these two will, ultimately, be forced to grow up beyond their petty notions and do what’s right for those important to them.
It’s also a movie where Bobby Cannavale compares penis and testicle sizes AND encourages, with glee, a man crush to masturbate in a cup. You know, for fun?
“Do you even jerk, bro?”
I was, of course, not expecting anything spectacular from what was initially sold to me as family fluff. What I ALSO wasn’t expecting was uncomfortable dirty jokes at the expense of tone and laziness at the expense of laughs and drama.
Wait, I Forgot the Toa…
Ferrell and Wahlberg have excellent chemistry, and can deliver with even the shakiest of premises…
…but even they need some structure. Some set of rules. Some gameplan.
Wahlberg’s polar opposite father figure character is introduced to the tunes of AC/DC twice (which I thought would be an establishing shot-style running gag). His backstory is incredibly vague, with implications of military service and entertainment industry work. Why was he missing from his kids lives? This is never addressed.
Likewise, Ferrell’s straight-laced whitey white guy is all too absorbed and obsessed with being the perfect parent, to the point of being egotistical. We have to root for him? For either man?
Oh, just sit back and relax, I suppose. Enjoy the show!
Here We Go: A Toas…
Daddy’s Home has a touch of surrealness embedded within that was surprising to see, and its climax is, by itself, kind of heartwarming.
However, none of this works as payoff or is earned in any significant way. They could’ve just shot the opening and ending, and for the middle had a ninja movie play, and it would matter just the same (maybe better, actually). Character arcs happen, but aren’t at all important or cared for. It’s just one big excuse.
For what? It’s not too silly and not too serious. Despite some flares of humor, it’s rather bland. An excuse for bringing two actors back together? Like Be Cool? Maybe.
Despite Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Hateful Eight playing in the same theater, my showing of Daddy’s Home was full. People laughed and seemed to enjoy themselves. Mission accomplished, if that was, indeed, the intent. See this movie one night, and a thinker the next. Love both. Difference in quality matters not. All that exists is despair.