#REVIEW: “DADDY’S HOME”
Stepfathers in Cinema have been portrayed in a multitude of lights, but if you ask us, it’s rarely a positive one. We’ve seen them in horrors and often trying to usurp the patriarchal throne in the biological family where sympathy is given often to the father by birthright. What Daddy’s Home brings to the table is a comical take on the competitive power struggle that can take place in a family when a biological father re-enters the picture after a period of estrangement.
A perfectly good reason to reunite Cinema Patriarchs Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg after some explosive chemistry in 2010’s The Other Guys, what weaknesses there are in this latest effort from Sean Anders’ (We’re The Millers), all seem to be tied together neatly late and forgiven. Although it isn’t necessarily a Holiday Movie, its Christmas release works in a world of ever-changing definition of “family”.
The antics are completely over-the-top, but we’re sure Moviegoers are well aware of this walking into Daddy’s Home. We meet Smooth Jazz Radio Executive Brad (Ferrell), his wife Sarah (Linda Cardellini) and their two children from her previous marriage. Re-entering the picture out of the blue is Dusty (Wahlberg), who is dead-set on winning back the hearts of Sarah and his two kids. And believe us, he uses everything form his rock hard abs to friends in high places to give Brad a run for his money and wallet.
The interesting thing about Daddy’s Home is that we see it from Brad‘s side of things and this is actually fresh. We empathize with him every step of the way as his position is challenged within the household and he is pared to the core of his deepest insecurities – wounds exposed for all to see – down to his manhood to his sterility. Things get messy and outright uncomfortable more so than needed as we watch him hit rock bottom. Make no mistake though, we want redemption as even good people take missteps and that’s what we like about Brad. Wahlberg‘s imposing perfection becomes grating as does Cardellini‘s semi-switching of sides, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have some fun with it along the way. Everything culminates in a fittingly-silly and heartwarming conclusion that you won’t see coming. The laughs are big, as are the “awws“.
Paramount Pictures Canada release DADDY’S HOME on Christmas Day.