Daddy’s Home Review
Mild-mannered family man Brad Whitaker (Ferrell) is forced compete for the affection of his wife and step-kids after their macho biological dad Dusty (Wahlberg) rides back into their lives and clearly determined to win his family back.
Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg successfully established a comfortable comedy dynamic in The Other Guys, playing the typical odd couple routine for frequent laughs in the crowd pleasing cop comedy. Reunited in Daddy’s Home the pair resume amusing hostilities as Ferrell’s meek suburban dad clashes painfully with Wahlberg’s bike riding macho badass. Playing easily to type the duo both clearly relish the opportunity to spar with each other again.
Freaks & Geeks star Linda Cardellini is always a welcome addition to any cast. Most recently seen in Avengers Age of Ultron as Hawkeye’s secret wife, this time she has a little more involvement in the action, playing the sensible women caught up in the increasingly ridiculous male rivalries.
Thanks to a few effective running gags, a supporting cast of familiar faces and unashamedly silly set pieces the film manages to keep its simple plot moving without losing its audience to apathy or irritation. The film never makes the mistake of taking itself too seriously at least.
Daddy’s Home is packed with painful embarrassments. While many people will enjoy watching an abundant supply of cringe worthy awkwardness, others might find it simply excruciating. Ferrell’s sensible family man is quickly reduced to a screaming buffoon and Wahlberg’s cliché macho swagger soon gives way to silly insecurities. Both stars play comfortably to type, moving a simple story towards a pretty predictable conclusion.
The Ugly Truth:
Fans of Ferrell and Wahlberg’s past efforts will welcome another trademark dose of embarrassing shenanigans as Daddy’s Home delivers plenty of slapstick silliness. It’s easy viewing for anyone who can tolerate watching grown men act like overly competitive children, though lacking the memorable moments and catchphrases that make the pairs best work truly stand out.
Review by Russell Nelson