For your holiday season pleasure, we get to see the oddball pairing of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg together again since their initial chemistry in five years. This time, they are dads competing for the love and affection of their family in the Paramount Pictures comedy Daddy’s Home.
Brad Whitaker (Will Ferrell) has been struggling for nearly a year to earn the respect and admiration to Sara’s (Linda Cardellini) kids Megan (Scarlett Estevez) and Dylan (Owen Vaccaro). The two kids see him as nothing until one day where both of them finally needed Brad’s advice and help with their daily lives. Brad’s life as a father is finally looking up and he could not be any happier. That is… until one day when the kids’ biological father, Dusty Mayron (Mark Wahlberg) comes back into the picture.
From the moment he shows up in his shiny motorcycle, Dusty is determined to shows he’s the top dog of the family. Suddenly, the gloves come off to see who is the better dad to Megan & Dylan. Will it be Brad, the radio executive who’s the all around play-it-safe nice guy or Dusty, the man who has connections that I could not believe. The one can charm anyone with his devilish smile, bulging biceps and ripped abs.
It’s a great sight to see Ferrell and Wahlberg team up again. It’s an oddball pairing when you see a comedic genius that is Ferrell who can make any role of his memorable and the dramatic chops of Wahlberg who is known for playing tough guys make a comedy together but they pull it off brilliantly.
The only concern I have is with Dusty’s confusing back-story. You have him in one scene being the jack-of-all-trades, the world traveler who might be a soldier, to being just the deadbeat dad. You have to wonder what is his true story.
Director Sean Anders also knows how to guide his supporting players of Thomas Hayden Church, Bobby Cannavale and Hannibal Burress—into comedic grooves with just the right harmonic undertones. Church plays Brad’s boss Leo gives the craziest stories of his married life that you would feel both awed and confused as to why it relates to Brad. While Cannavale has limited on-screen time with his role as Dr. Francisco, we just hams it up in the few scenes he’s in. Finally, Burress plays Griff, the handyman who suddenly takes up residence like an uninvited guest that you don’t mind being there. Burgess steals the scenes with his one-liners.
Daddy’s Home does hits home in regards to familial issues especially divorce and parenting. It shows how that it takes teamwork from both biological and stepparents in order to make a single-family unit. Home details that parenting no matter if you’re new to the game or a veteran, takes a lot of hard work and that no two parenting style are ever the same.
FINAL GRADE: B