Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg in DADDY'S HOME

Daddy’s Home is about a stepfather (Will Ferrell) who has to fight for his family when the biological father (Mark Wahlberg) re-enters the picture. Scarlett Estevez and Owen Vaccaro play the kids and Linda Cardellini plays the woman who used to be married to Dusty and is now married to Brad.

Brad is the self-help books-reading dude who wants to be a Dad because he thinks anyone can be a father. What’s the difference? The latter just provides the seed while the former actually provides the care. Why does he make that distinction? Because he cannot become a father due to an accident at the dentist’s (!!) which prevents him from making the good stuff that can go on to make a baby. Dusty on the other hand is a motorcycle-riding manipulative man-boy who can do a ton of push-ups without breaking into a sweat, is “good with his hands”, and thinks the answer to every conflict is violence. So far so cookie-cutter, am I right? The conflicting parties need to be at opposite ends of the spectrum so that they can meet in the middle and learn a few things by the time the end credits roll.

Yeah, not so much.

This is another one of those movies–I feel like I encounter them most often in the work produced by modern day Hollywood–where a lot happens but it doesn’t seem to be happening between characters. For example:

  • Sara and Dusty barely ever speak, even though it is clear that the latter wants to reinsert himself into the family dynamic. Making the only woman of consequence superfluous to the goings on in this movie seems like an odd choice.
  • There are scenes that clearly exists just to give Ferrell, or Wahlberg, ‘room to shine’. Those scenes go nowhere, and they take a lot of time getting there.
  • Dusty keeps telling his kids bedtime stories about kings and step kings and manages to weave in references to his ‘sword’. The kids are little but there is no indication that they are stupid so why don’t they figure out – ever – that the stories are about Dad and Brad?

Even the sequence where Brad does seemingly irreparable damage to his relationship with the family is so badly handled it’s like the filmmakers decided that they’d fix the film in PR, or something.

Final Analysis: There is nothing new and nothing amusing about this movie.
My Advice: India finally got Netflix, find something on there to watch.