Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini
Director: Sean Anders
Running Time: 96 mins
Daddy’s Home is an American film about a reliable stepdad trying to form a closer bond with his stepchildren. However, when the kids’ birth father arrives on the scene, things become very difficult as the two battle for dominance in the family.
Will Ferrell doesn’t always cry comedic brilliance like in the Anchorman days, so I went into Daddy’s Home expecting a pretty underwhelming comedy. What it actually is a relatively enjoyable film, thanks to some energetic performances, a few great jokes, and an entertaining premise. Despite that, it still suffers from some regularly stiff dialogue, extreme stupidity and lack of originality, meaning this is nowhere near as hilarious as you’d like it to be.
But let’s start on the bright side, with the performances. Now, none of the performances here are particularly stellar, but they’re good enough to make the movie a more entertaining watch than it could have been. Will Ferrell plays the wimpy middle-aged man, a role he’s been taking up regularly in recent years, whilst Mark Wahlberg plays the hunky, rebellious ex-husband that’s pretty similar to his small role in Date Night.
Both of the actors are in typecast roles, neither of which are the best that they can do, but it’s the sort of performance that they can put out with a good bit of energy and make for a few good laughs. And that’s really the story of the whole of Daddy’s Home. Nothing spectacular, nor anything original, but something simple and formulaic enough to be just passable as an entertaining watch.
Of course, that’s if you turn your brain right down to the lowest setting, because some of the comedy in this film is beyond idiotic. Again, there are some good jokes here and there, and the rivalry between Ferrell and Wahlberg is entertaining throughout, but there are also so many gags that go way beyond the bounds what even comedies should be allowed to do.
It’s nothing risky or edgy, it’s just pure dumbness. From a couple of insanely comical side characters to badly CGI-ed action incidents, there are more than a few attempted jokes that not only fail to land, but will also have you shaking your head at how puerile they really are.
In general, the film is a pretty fast-paced and comedy-packed one, meaning that there’s not too much time for the pretty average story to look too bad. That said, there are occasionally moments where the film isn’t throwing jokes at you, and it really exposes how poor the screenplay is, as the actors are lumbered with some very iffy dialogue that feels completely out of place in a Hollywood movie.
Overall, Daddy’s Home is a very lightweight and dumb yet moderately entertaining comedy. It’s nothing original by any means, nor is it a film that will have you laughing your socks off, but with a couple of decent lead performances and the odd great joke, this is just good enough to be enjoyable, and that’s why I’m giving it a 6.9.