“… a strange departure from ‘adult comedies’ for Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.”
Yesterday I watched Daddy’s Home and it was… interesting. Daddy’s Home stars Will Ferrell as Brad, a clean-cut, non-confrontational business man who is married to Sarah, and in-turn is a step-father to her two kids. Things had been going well until Dusty (played by Mark Wahlberg), Sarah’s ex-husband and the kids’ real father, comes back into town. The rest of the movie is essentially a montage of the two (Ferrell and Wahlberg) trying to one-up each other and prove that they are the better father.
Like I said, this film was interesting to watch. After The Other Guys (which I love with all of my heart), I expected a Ferrell-Walberg team-up to be the same raunchy yet clever comedy. What I got instead was a weird kids movie. Now kids movies aren’t bad, but they have this certain “PG glow” about them. This not only entails no graphic content, but also no subtlety because let’s face it kids are stupid. So because of this, Daddy’s home is about as in-your-face as a comedy can get, always making sure that you never have to think about anything while watching it. This manifests itself in many different ways. For one, the music really forces the tone of the film. Also, the dialogue is filled with characters explaining (or miming) how they feel, or how you should react. This isn’t bad for a kids movie, but this duo should not have been wasted on such a film.
Daddy’s Home is also strange because it plays out more like a cartoon than a live-action film. Of course this is a reference to the terrible CGI (seriously, just look up the motorcycle scene on youtube), but also to the outlandish occurrences in the film. I can understand why the film was like this (again, it was pretty much a kids movie) but I wish that it was at least a bit more grounded. Because of all of these weird plot points, the pacing is pretty much fucked at the beginning of the film. It’s like a writer’s room was scavenged for all of the ‘funny ideas’ and then they were just thrown together with no threads connecting them. At least the film does pick up after that when the actual “real-life” conflicts start happening.
Daddy’s Home is not just weird because of the cartoonish features, but it also had bizarre choices in the final product. One of those being the blatantly obvious Ford advertisements in the film. I guess it was kind of funny to have the character talk about the car’s features and stuff, but you know that joke was written in there to line someones pockets. AND THEN THEY DID THE SAME JOKE AGAIN. They got fucking greedy with the product placement and made the film more of an ad than a movie. Of course one of these ads were delivered via voiceover, which is another fucking strange choice. At the beginning of the film, I can kind of understand (though it is a bit weird) because of exposition and setting the scene; but at the end of the movie? I mean, we just lived through the same things as the characters, what could they possibly add to what I’m feeling? Oh ya, absolutely nothing. It just seems out of place much like the terrible Ford advertisements.
Daddy’s Home is a comedy, and even though it is oddly family-oriented, I did laugh a few times. This is partially because of Will Ferrell’s delivery, but also because of the outrageous number of comedians that cameoed in this film. I mean, I don’t know what dirt the director had on them, but it must have been good because he even got Bill Burr in the film and that dude doesn’t give a shit about anything. Apart form that, the acting was alright and the music (though it was the definition of ham-fisted) was reminiscent of old Peanuts cartoons, and for that it gets a pass.
Ultimately Daddy’s Home is a strange departure from ‘adult comedies’ for Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. This is absolutely a kids movie, with outlandish moments and no subtlety, but it was able to deliver a few laughs.
I give Daddy’s Home a C