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Daddy's Home

Coming Soon

It’s the holiday season and, while spirits are mostly jolly and festive, there’s still a need for a little push to keep folks on the path of being merry. With the selection of new theatrical releases offered this year, one would assume that finding a movie to fit those needs would be relatively simple. Well you’d be wrong. There are six major movies making their theatrical debuts between December 23rd and December 25th (actually seven if including the New York/Los Angeles only release of The Revenant). Only one of these offerings is classified as true comedy, Daddy’s Home. The bottom line here is that if you’re looking to give those cheeks a post-holiday feast workout, you’ll want explore our thoughts on this “family-ish” comedy.
When you think of Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell working on a movie together, a fond smile my creep to your face as you fondly remember The Other Guys (2010) where the two shared the big screen together and brought many laughs while playing cops with totally different demeanors. Daddy’s Home takes that exact same formula and only rather than being partners on the force together, they’re instead fathers who are forced to be partners. Brad (Will Ferrell) is married to Sara (Linda Cardellini), mother of two children fathered by her ex, Dusty (Mark Wahlberg). Brad and Dusty couldn’t be more different from one another. Brad is very a structured “by the numbers” guy who wears his emotions on his sleeve. Dusty is more of a “fly by the seat of his pants” rebel type person that comes and goes as he pleases. When Dusty thrusts himself back into Sara and the kids’ lives, what first seems like a gesture of compromise quickly becomes a competition that Brad isn’t ready for.
For Will Ferrell, playing the hopeless sap who is inevitably just a good guy with a kind heart is something that the actor can do in his sleep. The same can be said for Mark Wahlberg except, for him, it’s more or less being the badass alpha male. Having said that, these two behave exactly how you’d expect them to. They’re as typecast as two people could possibly be. That means there are no real surprises one way or the other in how these two interact or even how the plot plays out. There is zero unpredictability and therefore no chance of something happening that’ll catch audiences by surprise. On the plus side this means that people who pay to see Daddy’s Home, who are familiar with how these guys operate, will get exactly what they’re expecting and that’s not necessarily a horrible outcome.
Be prepared for over the top physical comedy, the likes of which would make the Three Stooges proud. For a PG-13 movie, you have to know, and expect, that both Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg will push the boundaries of crossing over to the dreaded R rating. Good thing editors can trim the extremely raunchy dialogue down to an acceptable racy level. Throw in the dry humor of Thomas Haden Church, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Cannavale and Bill Burr and you might be start wishing that director Sean Anders and Paramount Pictures just allowed this movie to be done with no punches pulled. The supporting cast is a good one but it’s apparent that their natural tendencies to express themselves with profanity laced tirades wasn’t going to fly here. It’s unfortunate because Daddy’s Home often felt as though it was holding back.
At the end of the day, Daddy’s Home tries to be a people-pleaser. In its attempts to filter the filth in order to make it more of a family movie, it also inadvertently filtered out some of the fun. This is by no stretch of the imagination a worthless movie, however it does not live up to its full potential. Watching a movie like Harlem Nights for example, is great when seen on premium cable channels or DVD/Blu-ray. The minute it airs on broadcast television or a basic cable channel like TBS or FX you can just write it off as a waste of time. From the view of a parent with concerns of whether or not to let younger kids watch this “family” comedy, there are many things both said and inferred that might lead to some uncomfortable situations down the road. Yes, this Ferrell/Wahlberg comedy is mostly entertaining but there moments throughout where you’ll feel letdown. Still though, if you’re looking to laugh over the holiday break, Daddy’s Home might just have the right mix of ingredients to unwrap a few much needed giggles.

Daddy's Home is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Carl Wheeler

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