Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg team up once again for their first comedy foray since The Other Guys in 2010 with Daddy’s Home, a comedy about family and feuding dads. Directed by Sean Anders (Horrible Bosses 2, That’s My Boy) the film stars Ferrell as Brad Whitaker, a man who has always wanted to be a father and is constantly seeking the approval of his step children Megan and Dylan. Just as he and his wife Sara (Linda Cardellini) are settling into things and the kids are starting to warm to him the family receives a call from Dusty Mayron, the children’s biological father and the battle of the dads begins, and may the best dad win.
As far as family comedies go Daddy’s Home is a pretty solid film, it has a good blend of daft slapstick moments, subtle adult humour and silly scenarios to keep the laughs coming throughout. Ferrell and Wahlberg have an enjoyable chemistry that helps the comedy work but they do play opposite characters very similar to what they did in The Other Guys. Wahlberg plays the louder, brasher character with Ferrell playing the reserved by the books type of guy, to be fair they suit the roles quite well, but it would be funny and interesting to reverse the roles if they were to partner up again.
The comedy though is not just restricted to the duelling dads. Thomas Haden Church provides amusing support as Brad’s boss Leo at the local smooth jazz radio station as he recalls completely irrelevant stories for Brad’s current problems. Bobby Cannavale and Hannibal Buress are also on hand for some smaller laughs as a doctor and handyman respectively. The biggest problem that the film has, which isn’t necessarily it’s fault, is that a lot of the comedy has been featured in the insane amount of trailers and TV spots released for the film. It takes away what could have been funny unexpected moments and makes them just mildly amusing. That being said we do get some golden moments that have been hidden from the marketing campaign, with a Guardians of the Galaxy inspired ending that provides one of the biggest highlights of the film.
The story and its progression is very much what you would expect from such a film, predictable and easy, and it’s no better or worse for it. The simplicity of it’s form allows the comedy to roll without any major work to build it up, letting the jokes come quick and fast. At a brisk 96 minutes it has the perfect running time for a comedy, any longer and it would have been drawn out. The film ends with promise for a sequel, which I would be totally up for, and there could be plenty other directions that they could go with it.
As a quick comedy film about feuding dads starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, you get exactly what you see on the tin. It is light, fast, and funny with enough comedy that something should appeal to your type of humour. I personally enjoyed this more than The Other Guys, which is a testament to their chemistry. A perfect comedy for the whole family to enjoy together, with a few crude moments aside it’s a nice easy watch.