Director: Sean Anders
Cast: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, Thomas Haden Church, Scarlett Estevez, Owen Vaccaro, Bobby Cannavale, Hannibal Buress, Bill Burr, Jamie Denbo
Age Rating: 12A/PG-13
Running Time: 96 Minutes
December 2015 saw a heap full of comedy films surface for the Christmas break, and one which I was eagerly anticipating was the comeback of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg on screen together. I was a big fan of THE OTHER GUYS back in 2010, and I was looking forward to see if they could bring the same levels of laughter to the screen or even potentially top their first outing.
DADDY’S HOME quite simply tells the story of Stepdad, Brad Whitaker (Will Ferrell) trying his best to get his stepchildren to love him and call him Dad. All seems to be going well until the biological father, Dusty Mayron (Mark Wahlberg) decides to return home and try and win back his wife and kids. These two opposites collide in a parental feud which brings with it some outrageous accidents, a lot of awkward laughter and two very confused kids.
The film starts off very similarly to Ferrell’s previous film GET HARD, where once again he plays a straight-edge and socially awkward stereotype who has the audience giggling from the off. This charm pays off well and you are on his side from the beginning, ignoring his cringeworthy pleas with the children as much as possible.
As Wahlberg comes into the picture, you look at his character thinking he is going to provide some comedy gold once again. However, playing the irresponsible, rugged greaser of a father seems to hinder his performance, and personally he is not on level par with Ferrell in terms of comedy value in this film until perhaps the end of the film where the last twenty minutes definitely saved it for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed DADDY’S HOME, and my girlfriend really did, but personally it just didn’t have me in stitches as much as THE OTHER GUYS did, and unfortunately that is my basis for comparison with this film. If you love Ferrell’s style of comedy then this one is just as good as GET HARD and very close to his performance in THE OTHER GUYS, however if you’re a Wahlberg fan, this isn’t as enjoyable as the TED films or his brilliant performance in THE OTHER GUYS. If you’re a big fan of the pair of them together, I’ll let you come to your own conclusion on this one and let me know if you agree with me. One thing is for sure though, as always, Will Ferrell brings some hilarious, jaw-dropping scenes to his latest feature, with my second favourite easily being the basketball scene, filmed at The Staples Center (home of the Los Angeles Lakers), in front of a sell-out crowd. That, along with the motorbike scene near the beginning, are two things you have to take away from this film and appreciate.
“Family is worth fighting for.”
Recommendation: A film worth a date night at the cinema, but make sure it’s a cheaper, ‘member discounted’ visit rather than shelling out for it.