Daddy's Home Movie Review
It's dad versus stepdad in Daddy's Home, but does anyone--including the audience--win? Starring Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell, Daddy's Home is a mildly funny comedy that leaves a lot of potential on the table as it desperately attempts to make you laugh, sort of like your dad does at the dinner table.
Daddy's Home, which has Will Ferrell playing a mild mannered and loving family man who becomes threatened when his wife's manipulative ex-husband (and father of his stepchildren) shows up, will make you laugh more than a few times thanks to lively performances by both leads. A supporting role by Thomas Haden Church is also a highlight, while sadly Linda Cardellini is delegated to the typical and interchangeable mom/wife role.
As funny as it is at times, it's hard to ignore that Daddy's Home is a lot of hot air, a film that was sold on its premise more than its innards. It's a little too safe and a little too uneven, and ultimately it runs out of juice before the finale hits. The movie is made up of sketches and running jokes that sometimes work and sometimes don't, ideas that may work on their own but don't amount to a truly fun, and funny, moviegoing experience.
As the antics escalate, the humor moves in the other direction, ultimately leading to a predictably bland climax. A subplot about Ferrell not being able to father his own children is a poor waste of plot time, but appears to be the only thing the three screenwriters could come up with to round out the picture. Other scenes, such as the one at the basketball game, simply seems disjointed from the rest of the film.
On a positive note, how is it that John Cena, an “actor” I based not so many years ago for being truly awful, has turned into someone I actually want to see in comedies.
Daddy's Home is a harmless flick that offers enough laughs to get you through its runtime, but it's not one of those comedies you'll want to revisit again and again. Will Ferrell diehards may disagree, but Daddy's Home is a fun-while-it-lasts-but-thankfully-it-only-lasts-90-minutes kind of comedy.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.