By Mark Saldana
Rating: 2.5 (Out of 4 Stars)
After the critical and financial success of The Other Guys, it was inevitable that Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg would make another comedy film. On one hand, I am a bit disappointed that their next film isn’t a sequel to The Other Guys, but on the other hand I do appreciate that the comic duo have decided to do something a little different story wise. Though the film does have its hilarious moments, the movie just doesn’t quite deliver the smart wit and hilarious sophomoric humor that their first film gave its audiences. Overall Daddy’s Home is funny, but is often too cartoonish for its own good.
Brad Taggart (Ferrell) might be the nicest guy in existence. A radio executive who wears his massive heart on sleeve, Brad may have married the love of his life (Linda Cardelini), but has yet to win the hearts of her two children from another marriage. Just when his relationship with Megan (Scarlett Estevez) and Dylan (Owen Vaccaro) is starting to improve, the kids’ biological father Dusty (Wahlberg) decides to return. He not only vies for the love of his children; he attempts to win back his ex-wife. The sweet and kind hearted Brad has no clue how to fight for his new family as Dusty’s strategy gets quite dirty and underhanded.
Written and directed by Sean Anders who co-wrote with Brian Burns and John Morris, Daddy’s Home does make for fun family entertainment with a slightly risqué edge. Because the humor and content does get a bit racy, this movie earns a PG-13 rating and does at times come close to creeping into R-rated territory. So it would be best if the family being entertained consists of people of appropriate ages. It most definitely is not intended for children younger than teens.
One thing that does bewilder me a bit is the film’s reliance on cartoonish, physical pratfalls that feel more appropriate in a movie aimed at children younger than teens. So it seems that the filmmakers wanted to appeal to the adults with more ribald material and physical comedy to appeal to the kids. This attempt to appeal to a larger demographic does not work, as I cannot honestly see parents feeling comfortable exposing their young children to the more adult oriented material. As an adult, I was not too impressed with the over-the-top silliness of the pratfalls.
On the positive end, the film does have a decent amount of humor that does work with some great performances by Ferrell and Wahlberg who both share a palpable comic chemistry. The cast also features some rather amusing moments by comedian Hannibal Burress who portrays Dusty’s new buddy Griff. Thomas Haden Church who plays Brad’s boss Leo Holt also delivers some humorously bizarre and awkward comedy that works most of the time.
Even though the movie is likable and fun, it is not a film I feel is a must see at the cinema. Daddy’s Home has enough entertaining moments for a movie night at home, but just doesn’t quite make the mark for full priced tickets. Ferrell and Wahlberg still make a fine comic duo, but probably would have done better in a sequel to The Other Guys.