Search Film Reviews

Thursday, December 24, 2015


Left to right: Will Ferrell plays Brad Whitaker and Mark Wahlberg plays Dusty Mayron in Daddy’s Home from Paramount Pictures and Red Granite Pictures
Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

2015, 96 minutes
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, crude and suggestive content, and for language

By Adam Gordon

There are some movies where going in, you know EXACTLY what you are going to get. They do NOT stray very much from formula, other than a few variations on theme or character in order to call the film their own, and they certainly do NOT toy with plot points that would lessen the overall pleasing effects that the audience unwittingly went to the film to begin with to experience. Daddy's Home is one such film that chugs along down the track of familiarity like it was born to take on the slew of serious holiday awards fare, as it calls out to ALL family audiences in the multiplexes looking for just-raunchy-enough entertainment to make everyone (from Grandpa, down to six-year-old Tiffany, and Aunt Delilah as well) happy.

As a wimpy, overgrown child himself, Will Farrell plays Brad Whitaker, the clueless stepfather striving to be the best stepdad he can to his wife Sara's (Linda Cardellini) two children. When Dusty (Mark Wahlberg), the kids' real father and Sara's ex, shows up to compete for the kids' affection - all hell breaks loose. As expected, you have every low-brow sexual innuendo, fart, and semen joke that could possibly be fit in under a PG-13 banner (including artificial insemination)...but it doesn't really matter. Director Sean Anders never looses sight of who this movie is for or what it's about, nor does his absolutely winning cast. Ferrell and Wahlberg are much like Fey and Poehler (to a far lesser intellectual extent). They are like popcorn and butter, peanut butter and chocolate (you get the idea). And Ms. Cardellini, who seems to pop up all over the place (she's had a marvelous stint on ER, played Velma in the Scooby Doo films, and most recently appeared in Mad Men and New Girl), is the Betty Crocker frosting that ices over this whole unlikely, humble, yet hilarious three-layer holiday treat.