Daddy's Home -This Movie Soooooooo Doesn't Rock
Dir: Sean Anders
Starring Will Ferrell, Mark Walhberg, Linda Cardellini, Thomas Haden Church, Hannibal Buress
We tried. No really, we did. We gave Daddy’s Home the benefit of the doubt and sat down to watch with the expectation of at least a few cheap laughs. Maybe even a guffaw. Hopefully a chortle. And to be fair, there was one moment in the last five minutes or so when we almost inadvertently snorted. But otherwise – nothing. Not even a damn smile. Daddy’s Home is an alleged comedy so bereft of anything even vaguely amusing that it could easily be done under the Trade Descriptions Act.
Like so many contemporary comedies, it starts with a high concept single line – nerdy step dad has to face off against long absent but super cool biological dad – and in this case just goes no further. The “gag,” as much as there is one, is in the obvious casting – Ferrell does his nerdy-man routine (again) whilst Wahlberg looks cool in leather and biker boots (again.) And to be fair, Wahlberg comes out of it OK – albeit not funny. But Ferrell’s performance is so flat and so remote that you can easily imagine him having a vision of the thousands of stone cold faces in cinemas across the world every time he delivers a line. It’s almost painful to watch as the man goes through the motions, imagining what he is saying or doing might at the very least raise a smile. What a sad, deluded man he is in this instance.
He’s well met however by a bizarrely dreadful supporting turn from Thomas Haden Church who strives to make every line he utters sound like it’s meant to be funny – when it clearly isn’t. Zero marks all round to scripters Brian Burns, Sean Anders & John Morris. And as for Anders, who also directs – how unlikely is it that the man who brought us That’s My Boy and Horrible Bosses 2 could still reach a new career low?? (And his next movie is the Jennifer Anniston vehicle Mean Moms – we already feel we know everything about it we need to know. And none of it’s good.)
Oh, and did we mention the product placement. The second line of Ferrell’s voice over talks about the virtues of his Ford car – something that Wahlberg echoes in his narration at the end. In between it’s beer commercials, cereal references, shameless plugs for the Lakers and more.
Easily one of the worst so-called “comedies” of recent years. Shame on everyone concerned. Avoid like the plague.
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