Daddy’s Home, review: ‘A household chore’

15:41 21 December 2015

Will Ferrell and Linda Cardellini in Daddy's Home. Picture: Paramount Pictures/Patti Peret

Will Ferrell and Linda Cardellini in Daddy's Home. Picture: Paramount Pictures/Patti Peret

? 2015 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

There are plenty of laughs in this family comedy send-up, but its basic humour ultimately lacks substance, says Michael Joyce.

Daddy’s Home is a very funny, but ultimately joyless movie. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg might seem like a desperate pairing but their previous film together, The Other Guys, was a gloriously funny parody of buddy cop movies that was an extraordinarily perceptive look at how Hollywood distorts the discourse on crime. This new film has them take on the world of family comedies and though it takes a similarly free spirited swing at its conventions, it is subservient to them.

Ferrell is the cheerful PC ninny who is desperate to be a good father to his two step children. He devotes himself to them but they still hate him – when the daughter draws a picture of the family he takes comfort when she draws him with a knife stuck in his head because at least he isn’t already dead in this picture.

Then, just as they are beginning to look up to him, their real, cool biker dad (Wahlberg) turns up and starts trying to weasel his way back into the family and back in with his ex wife (Linda Cardinelli), who – like all wives in Hollywood family comedies – is never allowed to be funny and has to do all the serious stuff.

In amongst this there are plenty of very funny lines and inspired sight gags but the basic comic generator is so repetitive – Ferrell the chump being run rings round by the super cool Wahlberg – that even as you are guffawing heartily, it is hard to feel any affection for it. It’s breezy and fun, but basically it is still just a household chore.

Rating: 2/5 stars

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Stories

Dutch Uncles - Big Balloon

Salford band’s fifth continues to straddle post-punk and complex pop. Is it enough to make anyone care?

08:04
Sutton United's manager Paul Doswell (left) and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger shake hands before the game

The manager of Sutton United has confirmed kind-hearted Arsenal are set to donate a cool £50,000 to the non-league minnows after last night’s game.

08:00
New committee members Varun Agnish, James Williams and Seb Rae face the camera at South Hampstead CC

New chairman welcomes fresh blood at cricket club

Tottenham Hotspur Ladies' Josie Green. Picture: WUSPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

Josie Green declared “why not us?” as Tottenham Hotspur Ladies defeated Women’s Super League side Brighton & Hove Albion to make it to the fifth round of the Women’s FA Cup.

Ely Court is the only British project in the final five shortlisted for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture 2017

A north London regeneration project has been shortlisted for the prestigious Mies van der Rohe Award

Lara Casalotti

A year ago, Belsize Park student Lara Casalotti was in desperate need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant.

Big Buy, 63 Marlborough Place, NW8

This week you’ll find prime patios and fantastic family homes in Primrose Hill, St John’s Wood, Muswell Hill and Tufnell Park

09:57
The crash in England's Lane                Picture: Francoise Lamouche

A car crashed and flipped over in Belsize Park last night.

Most read Hampstead & Highgate etcetera

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now