A good chunk of the time holiday releases are generally hit or miss. It’s one of the busiest seasons for movies, the 2nd after summer. There are movies like The Hateful Eight, Star Wars, and The Revenant, which were the clear “winners” of the season.
Another contender that has been on a surprising good streak Box Office-wise since it came out is Daddy’s Home. Trailing behind Star Wars the film did quite well, even beating out the hyped up Hateful Eight. The real question is this, is Daddy’s Home deserving of such a spot? The short answer is no. No it is not.
This is the second movie to put Will Ferrel and Mark Wahlberg in the spotlight since 2010’s The Other Guys. They have previously proved their comedic chemistry, and it does transfer over to this film successfully. Ferrel and Wahlberg once again prove that they are a great comedy duo – that is, when they have good material. Sadly, Daddy’s Home doesn’t give good material to them often. A good chunk of the jokes fall flat.
Daddy’s Home is a very confused movie. It doesn’t exactly know what it wants to be. It tries to be funny, heartwarming, dramatic, slapstick, and an advertisement. Yes, you read that last word right. The film literally opens up with an ad for the Ford Flex. It’s not even subtle. Look at Jurassic World, riddled with product placement but at least it tries to be subtle.
There’s not even a point to it in Daddy’s Home it’s just literally there, twice! It is possible to be all of those things and succeed (yes, even with an ad), just look at 2014’s The LEGO Movie (also coincidentally with Will Ferrel). The LEGO Movie did all this, but when Daddy’s Home tries it simply falls flat. The jumps from genre come from out of no where and makes it seem more like random scenes duct taped together.
The characters themselves are all inconsistent. The opinions a character feels for the others constantly change throughout the film, and it’s almost impossible to tell what they actually all think of each other. The premise of the film isn’t really that prominent in the film. The “dad-off” often shown in the ads for the movie isn’t a big part of the movie. It’s full of “how convenient” moments that are so common it’s flat-out unbelievable. The motives of “original dad” Dusty (Wahlberg) are barely clear throughout the whole movie, and the movie is just poorly written.
The plot of the film is a mess. It’s slow and jumps from one issues to another when it starts. No characters have much time to react to much of anything, which causes it to fail to be the “all-genre” film it’s trying to be. All the tensions that should stay between the characters to make the film actually work just seem to go away by the time it’s all said and done. It seems like they just scrambled together to get the ending out there.
The special effects in the movie are certainly a talking point, but not in a good way. Frankly, they’re bad. I actually laughed at the scenes, which I admittedly felt a bit bad for. It’s so clearly fake and poorly done. The fact that one can make dinosaurs look real in Jurassic Park, but “Daddy’s Home” cannot even make someone simply riding a motorcycle look organic, says a lot with regards to the poor quality of the special effects in this movie.
At the end of the day, Daddy’s Home tries to be the movie it wants to be, but ultimately fails due to a rushed and sloppy plot with subpar jokes tossed in. It’s disappointing for the Ferrel/Wahlberg duo, especially coming off “The Other Guys”, a far superior film. It ultimately lacks the charm to make it a holiday classic, or a film to revisit.