The last time Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell teamed up, they brought us the comedy, The Other Guys. Their differing onscreen personalities were refreshing and led to an interesting and funny dynamic. It’s always hard to top a movie that worked. Will the magic fly again? Will people laugh? Is the plot any good? It’s unfortunate to say that Daddy’s Home isn’t quite as funny as the last Wahlberg/Ferrell outing and, while they both play very similar characters as the last time, perhaps the fact that the film is more of a family comedy and falls into unfortunate clichés that hinders it from being a comedic gem.

Brad Whitaker (Will Ferrell) is happily married to Sara (Linda Cardellini) and living with her and her two kids from a previous relationship. Brad biggest dream has always been to be a father and wants nothing more than for Sara’s kids to treat him as such, constantly doting upon them and making sure to be there for them, etc. Just as the kids are starting to warm up to him, in walks their biological father, Dusty (Mark Wahlberg), a leather-jacket, motorcycle-riding alpha male who’s coming to take back what’s his. Shenanigans, unfortunately in this case, ensue.

Ferrell and Wahlberg have a lot of comedic chemistry, so it’s a shame to see it go to complete waste here. Daddy’s Home isn’t a particularly memorable movie. It’s plagued with forced humor and random bits of nonsense that doesn’t belong. And while the plot is simple enough, it attempts to throw in a couple of subplots that wind up feeling tacked on and pointless to the film overall.

There aren’t very many funny moments to counteract the slow pacing of the plot or the childish behavior of the characters (because it’s supposed to be funny?). What’s most disappointing and frustrating is Cardellini’s character. After going on and on about how awful and manipulative Wahlberg’s character is, she then proceeds to play dumb and fall for every single one of Wahlberg’s tricks. She doesn’t even try to stand up against him or do anything useful, and so she falls into the sidelined wife role, only there to serve as something to look at and act angry whenever possible.

Daddy’s Home is unnecessary and there’s barely any comedy to sustain its watch-ability. The film is all over the place and in the end, of course, decides to have a happy ending that just doesn’t seem to fit. Also, if a couple is going to a fertility clinic, why would you bring your ex? The film is an unfortunate miss and another comedy this year that fails to make its mark.

1.5star

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About Author

Mae is a Washington, DC-based film critic, entertainment journalist and Weekend Editor at Heroic Hollywood. A member of the Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), she's a geek who loves discussing movies and TV. She is also a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. If she's not at the movies, she's catching up on her superhero TV-watching, usually with a glass of wine in hand.

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