Review: Daddy’s Home


By Christian DiMartino

I was not excited for Daddy’s Home.

Both Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are obviously enormously talented, and can be very funny. But something didn’t smell right about this one. Maybe it was the title, or the lame premise. But as a fan of these two, it brings me a little pleasure to say that it’s not that bad. I laughed, and that’s more than I can say about the recent Tina Fey/Amy Poehler effort Sisters.

Ferrell plays Brad, a nice, sensitive step-dad. He’s married to Sara (the always wonderful Linda Cardenelli, underused here), a nice woman, and they live with her two kids. The kids haven’t warmed up to him yet. In fact, the daughter makes fun of Brad, and the son won’t call him dad. Yeah, real charmers.

But yet things are starting to go well. That is, until their actual father, Dusty (Wahlberg), calls. Upon hearing that Sara is now re-married, he decides to return to town. Why? You guessed it. He plans to out-do Brad, and from then on, the two compete against each other for the kids (and Sara’s) affections.

Thomas Hayden Church is funny as Brad’s boss, who is immediately charmed by Dusty. Not to mention, he constantly tells these random stories that serve no purpose. Hannibal Buress is also funny as Griff, who… Well, I’ll let you see for yourself.

Granted, there are times when this movie really doesn’t work. Certain gags, such as when Ferrell rides a motorcycle into the house or when Ferrell skateboards into a powerline, fall flat. But when Daddy’s Home is funny, it works. Not all of it sticks, but the ones that do stick, stick well.

The premise seems like something out of a sitcom, but I admit that I had fun, even though I knew that what I was watching wasn’t really good for me. Nonetheless, I enjoyed watching Ferrell and Wahlberg go at it. Sometimes it’s over-the-top, but it’s always amusing. By the end, I smiled. There is also a nice cameo at the end, which is especially satisfying if you have seen Trainwreck.

This isn’t comic gold, as the other reviews have told you. And hey, you may very well hate it. But I enjoyed myself to an extent.

Sue me.

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