Director: Sean Anders
Talent: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, Thomas Haden Church
Release Date: 26th December 2015
Daddy’s Home sees mild-mannered, loving step-dad Brad (Ferrell) fighting for the affections of his two young kids when his wife’s macho, charismatic ex-husband Dusty (Wahlberg) returns to visit the family. Like so much Hollywood cinema dealing with families, the film’s drama, as well as some of its comedy, is situated largely in the realm of patriarchal neurosis, with Brad’s symbolic authority challenged and penis envy provoked (at one point quite literally) by his rival, in a play where his wife and children function more as archetypes than characters in their own rights. It’s a shame that the narrative is so anxiety-inducing, because there are many laughs to be had here. Cameos from Thomas Haden Church as Brad’s over-sharing boss at Panda FM, a smooth jazz radio station, and Hannibal Buress as a meta-conscious handyman are hilarious and hit-and-miss respectively, along with Ferrell and Wahlberg (women aren’t allowed be funny here) elevating what would otherwise be very average material indeed to the enjoyable.
Words: Oisín Murphy-Hall