It feels like we were led to believe that Daddy’s Home was going to be a crazy, wildly funny comedy from the previews. Like the saying goes, “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” the same goes for films I suppose in that “You can’t judge a film by its trailer.” I like both of the lead actors, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, as actors. But in this film, they play as most of Ferrell’s other “screwball” comedies.
Daddy’s Home has a decent message about family and the value of special bond between father and son and husband and wife. Indeed, there are some comical moments and tension between the two characters as they vie for the affection of the children and the mother of those children. For that message, the film seems to achieve some success but falls flat with the comic bits and performances.
The story seems simple enough. Brad Whitaker (Ferrell), a radio executive is married to Sara (Linda Cardellini) who has two children, Megan (Scarlett Estevez) and Dylan (Owen Vaccaro), and tries to fit in with the family. Enter the biological father Dusty Mayron (Wahlberg), who comes in for a visit and stays longer than expected. He left the family because he couldn’t handle doing the “father” thing. He comes back and declares he has changed and wants to be part of the family again as he sees Brad moving in on his family.
Director Sean Anders tries his best with the material in which he co-wrote with Brian Burns and John Morris. The direction seemed to lack the energy needed to make the film’s action come to life. It almost seemed like he wasn’t sure what the film was supposed to be, a raucous comedy or a light-hearted comedy about family values and fatherhood. The film had its potential, but not even the big names of Ferrell and Wahlberg truly save the film. Not even the supporting cast like Thomas Haden Church as Brad’s boss or Hannibal Buress as a handyman, who begins living with the family for some reason after being fired by Brad, appear to really add much to the film, although there were a few moments here and there. But these moments seem to come too little too late.
This film was released at Christmas in 2015. Although it did have a Christmas scene, it fails to deliver much Christmas cheer as it surely hoped to reach.