Just the other day I finished watching Daddy’s Home starring Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell. I know I am a little late to be reviewing this movie since Daddy’s Home 2 was recently released on DVD but that is the life of a parent. It’s baby first and then we get to the things we are interested in when we have an opportunity. Actually, I wasn’t really interested in the movie when it was first released. I only decided to watch it because it was available on Amazon Prime Video and it was something I could watch on my laptop while my baby was napping. It took me two sessions to watch it, so what I said earlier about doing things when we can still stands. It’s only around 90 minutes long.
There are plenty of cringe-worthy parts in this film and I did not find either Ferrell’s or Wahlberg’s character likable in the early parts of the movie but I continued to watch. This was partly because I really enjoy Linda Cardellini, though I haven’t seen her in much else besides Freaks and Geeks and a few episodes of New Girl, and I because I wanted to watch a comedy. In the end, I found that it was worth the time and I am even interested in watching the sequel eventually.
The movie starts with Brad (Will Ferrell) finally beginning to feel accepted as the stepfather to two young kids after being married to their mom, Sarah (Linda Cardellini) for 8 months. Things quickly change when Sarah’s ex-husband, Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) calls the home after a long absence and quickly gets himself invited to visit after learning that his kids now have another man in their life.
Once Dusty arrives the two men are in a competition to be the man of the house. The two men are complete opposites and their rivalry causes some moments that can be a little tough to watch. It is a movie aimed at a family audience though so there is nothing too crude and there is a sweet little ending.
To me, the overall movie was fine but there were some scenes I didn’t particularly care for. The first was when Brad was asked to move Dusty’s motorcycle from where it was parked in the driveway. Aside from the predictability that things were going to go wrong, it was incredibly over the top and extremely fake. The CGI was so bad I think I actually said “Ugh.”
Later in the movie, Brad has an appointment with a fertility doctor which was, of course, set up by Dusty. The doctor was an incredibly annoying character. He was rude and unprofessional and I considered fast forwarding through that part. It made me sort of uncomfortable. It was nice, however, that the doctor did redeem himself later in the movie.
The last part that really annoyed me was the basketball game. The breakdown that Brad suffered was predictable and really difficult to watch. The whole scene was just an avalanche of bad and not really funny in any way.
One of my favorite aspects of the film was the series bedtime stories told by Mark Wahlberg’s character. These were often the funniest parts because the actors weren’t trying too hard. It was verbal humor and it was clever to use the bedtime stories to parallel and further the plot of the movie.
I also appreciated the Hannibal Burress character of Griffin. If it was a better movie he would not have been necessary but instead, he was a useful tool to further the plot and inject humor and context into some situations that the other characters might have struggled with.
I mentioned three parts in the bad so I will add another one here: dancing. There isn’t much dancing and when there is it isn’t very good but it was used well. I don’t want to spoil anything in case you haven’t see it, so I will leave it at that.
If you decide to watch this movie you should enjoy it if you go into it remembering that while it may seem more adult-oriented, considering the cast, it tries to stay family-friendly with its PG13 rating. It tries to reach a broad audience range so most of its failings stem from that effort. There are some funny parts and if you can just relax the characters will probably grow on you.