A Cable Movie
“Daddy’s Home” is the absolute definition of a good cable movie. It’s got a decent amount of laughs, two likeable stars, an easy movie to keep on as background noise when doing house hold chores and also isn’t raunchy enough to render too many censor edits for network television. Back in Blockbuster retail days this is the type of movie that if I was walking and came upon in the store I’d probably give a rental, watch it, and be pleased enough that I saw it. But, not enough where I’d want to buy it. I believe I described Will Ferrell’s last movie, “Get Hard” in a similar fashion. Safe to say, “Daddy’s Home” is a better movie then “Get Hard”. However, I wouldn’t say this is among Will Ferrell’s better comedies.
“Daddy’s Home” is a classic set up where two people compete for the entire movie to outdo the other but in the end come to an understanding with one another by the end for a safe resolution. Did I just spoiler the movie for you? You didn’t expect anything else did you? Here the two combaters are two fathers; one is a step dad and the other is the biological dad. The step dad (Will Ferrell), Brad, is the modern day parent that reads all the parenting books, sets up play dates, is extremely involved in the school functions, won’t curse, and tries to have his step-children resolve their problems with words. The real father (Mark Walberg) (and recently divorced father), Dusty, is a tough always want to have fun type of father. He isn’t good with responsibility or is always there for his kids. He teaches them to be tough and fight back against bullies.
Quickly the two competing style of parenting come under fire as each one wants tries to be better than the other. Plus they want to keep the (or in Dusty’s case regain) affections of the children’s mother (played by Linda Cardellini). All this results in a bunch of hi-jinks and scenario that would more than likely actually bankrupt everyone involved.
However we don’t go to a Will Ferrell movie to watch realism. Instead we go for a barrel of laughs and good fun. “Daddy’s Home” is nearly always able to provide a moderate amount of chuckles. There is nothing that is gut busting hilarious. The humor in “Daddy’s Home” is like getting a first down in football when you only have 3 yards to go and you’re on second down while playing against Jacksonville . It’s good to get the first down but it’s not all that impressive when it happens. “Daddy’s Home” is the comedy equivalent. The comedy is always good but nearly never that impressive.
I believe the trouble stems from the direction of director Sean Anders (“That’s My Boy” and “Horrible Bosses 2” director). The movie isn’t quite sure what type of humor it wants to be and doesn’t always mix comedic styling very well. With a movie like “Anchorman” it’s clear that director Adam McKay sets ups a tongue and cheek tone to form his comedy around. We know it’s not suppose to be realistic or but the movie is consistent throughout with that set up. “Daddy’s Home” jumps between something along those lines and something satirical. There is nothing wrong with the movie going a little over the top while adding a brand of satirical nature. But, some scenes in “Daddy’s Home” go so over the top that it doesn’t feel like it really belongs. Then again it’s hard to really critique it too harshly on that regard because some of those over the top scenes are funny as well.
Mark Walberg and Will Ferrell have already shown in a Adam McKay’s “The Other Guys” to have good chemistry with one another. “Daddy’s Home” is no different. The pair are a great comedic duo and each one really commits to their type of role. It’s unfortunate that Linda Cardellini doesn’t have much to offer outside of being just the wife that reacts in disapproval at the actions of Dusty and Brad.
Outside of that “Daddy’s Home” is a harmless, and at times brainless comedy. I saw it with a group of friends and enjoyed myself. In this regard it’s a pretty easy date movie or just a good movie to go out and see with a group of people If not otherwise this isn’t something that you have to rush go see. My advice? Wait till cable.