So I watched Daddy’s Home…
Usually I have a cute little anecdote to share to prefix my review but today isn’t like that. I saw this movie’s trailer, remembered that Mak Wahlberg and Will Ferrell had had great chemistry in The Other Guys and went to see it. It’s literally as simple as that.
Okay, basic plot: Brad (Will Ferrell) has always dreamed of being a father but after some botched dental work renders him infertile, he has to settle for the next best thing and become a step-dad. He marries Sara (Linda Cardellini) a divorcee with two kids – Dylan and Megan – from her previous marriage. Brad works extremely hard to win over her kids and have them accept him as their new step-father. Although difficult at first, Brad eventually turns the corner. All his hard work is challenged when Sara’s ex – Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) – comes back into the picture. He is superior to Brad in almost every way from physique to charisma to the amount he sweats (or rather doesn’t). The two males embark in a pissing contest to see who’s the better dad.
This film delivers exactly what any comedy should – raucous laughter. There were multiple times when I couldn’t hear the dialogue following a joke because I was laughing so hard. This movie inspired a storm of uncontrollable laughter, not only in me, but also in the entire audience. There were moments of laughter and applause and it was clearly evident that everyone in the theatre was having a great time. Wahlberg and Ferrell once again combine to deliver a truly entertaining comedic couple. In retrospect, their characters in this film are strikingly similar to their characters in The Other Guys. Wahlberg is once again the ‘cool’ guy of the pair and Ferrell the unmistakable dork. I loved seeing the two of them on screen because you could really sense the level of comfort and chemistry they have. Ferrell, in particular, was amazing in this film. He’s so good at playing the oblivious, socially-inept dork and he nails every line in this film. There are times when he isn’t saying anything overly funny but the manner he delivers is just have you on the floor. I also really enjoyed Linda Cardellini’s performance in this film. She was a cool, calm breeze and helped temper the insanity that often ensues.
I also enjoyed this film’s compact runtime. It’s only about an hour and a half long and it’s rare to see a movie with such a truncated runtime in today’s age. I think a lot of films (especially comedies) could learn a major lesson from this film. The compact runtime keeps things concise and to the point and this allows it a certain potency that others films often lose because of their bloated lengths. The film also keeps the jokes coming and uses its hour and a half well.
Now this movie is very funny and I enjoyed almost every joke but this film’s story is quite docile at times. The trailer promises you this epic standoff between dad and step-dad but it never quite materialises. Wahlberg and Ferrell’s characters are at odds but it never escalates into the full-out war that you hope it will. Yes, they do things to screw with each other and, yes, it is funny but it never feels grand enough. Thomas Haden Church has a supporting role in this film as Brad’s inappropriate, douchey boss; I didn’t really care for the character or Church’s depiction thereof. It feels like Church is attempting to be a spoof of the character and never really finds his comedic footing.
Overall, Daddy’s Home is a hilarious movie. It had me clapping and on the verge of tears several times. Ferrell and Wahlberg complement each other perfectly and produce a really entertaining movie. I think the story was a bit lackluster but this is easily forgiven because of the never-ending stream of jokes. Definitely worth seeing, 8/10