If you want to see Will Ferrell victimised by in-full-arsehole-mode Mark Wahlberg for an hour or so, this movie is for you. That actually could sound pretty appealing, but Daddy’s Home is not a good movie. Far too many of the comedic beats miss their mark in this predictable and lazy story for me to recommend it.
Some of the biggest gags are given away in the trailer – including Ferrell crashing a motorbike, crashing into power lines while skateboarding, throwing a basketball into a cheerleader’s head and being hit by a flying Wahlberg after losing a tree-house-building competition. These may have worked better in cinemas had the punchlines not been revealed in that two minute version of the film, but they’re still pretty damn weak gags.
There’s a real paint-by-numbers approach taken by writer Brian Burns and director Sean Anders, which is particularly frustrating as some reasonably dark and interesting themes almost come through in Daddy’s Home. The two dads feuding for the affection of shitty, entitled kids could have held an interesting mirror up to similar real-world situations – but any time something deep threatens to reveal itself, it’s pushed back behind the curtain with an average quip or more cringe-inducing physical comedy.
John Cena steals the show at the end of the film with his total of one single word of spoken dialogue. Hannibal Buress is also far better than this film deserves in his small role. If you’re a Ferrell fanatic, you’ll probably enjoy some of his Anchorman-esque uses of the English language, but there’s really not a lot worth talking about here. Worth watching when it hits free-to-air TV.
‘Daddy’s Home’ Movie Times