HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Daddy's Home
HTS Overall Score:76
I have a weakness for Will Ferrell movies. They’re loud, they’re stupid, but they’re really usually funny as Will runs around acting like a man child. I grew up watching Will in the 90’s and he was HYSTERICAL. Never as funny as his SNL days, but still a funny comedic actor. “The Other Guys” also starred him and Mark Wahlberg and was a boat load of fun, so I was rather intrigued to watch “Daddy’s Home”, despite the lackluster trailer. I should have known better, though, as Ferrell’s work has slowly and steadily started degrading to that just above Adam Sandler’s level with more inane humor that is just way past its use by date and definitely in need of a tossing out. “Daddy’s Home” tries to aim for a younger audience with the PG-13 rating instead of the usual R that is associated with his movies, but misses the mark way more often than it actually hits.
Brad Whitaker (Will Ferrell) is on top of the world. He has a wonderful wife, a great home, and two loving kids. The only problem is that the kids are not his own. In fact he’s a step dad to these little munchkins and trying to do his best at winning over their heart (without much success I might add). A bit of a self-help junkie and kind of a milk toast character, Brad is doing his best to rectify the situation by being the best dad that he can possibly be. This all changes when Dusty (Mark Wahlberg), his wife Sara’s (Linda Cardellini) ex-husband comes to town for a visit. Dusty is pretty much everything that Brad is not. He’s handsome, he’s dashing, he’s ripped like a bodybuilder (for 45 years old Marky Mark is looking JACKED) and he lives a life of adventure and freedom. He’s the hero to his children even though he left them so many years ago.
Letting Dusty run right over the top of him, Brad’s act of kindness by letting the man into his home turns into a nightmare as the ex pretty much takes over his life. Wheedling his way into the children’s good graces, Brad finds himself feeling replaced at every turn as Dusty is the awesome dad who rides a motorcycle and can build a treehouse in a single day. Soon Brad’s jealousy gets the better of him and he starts acting out, trying to one up Dusty at every turn, even if it means humiliating himself. Just as predictably, Dusty reveals his true intentions of stealing back Sara and the kids, leaving Brad to finally stop being a walking mat and pull out the big guns. If it’s war that Dusty wants, then it’s war that he’s going to get.
Where do I begin? “Daddy’s Home” is play on the polar opposite shtick, with Will Ferrell being his normal naïve, middle aged doofus who just wanders around getting run over and humiliated most of the movie. Marky Mark, on the other hand, is a rugged piece of work whose raw sex appeal and incredible attractiveness is shown off best as slow motion montage while everyone just bites their lips and drools. The complete and total opposites attract (or in this case clash) rule is in full effect and soon the two dads are pitting off against each other in incredibly forced comedic moments. We have Brad trying his best to be cool in front of the kids as he rides Dusty’s motorcycle through the house and pretty much turns himself into a rag doll. Or trying to pull a Tony Hawk and riding a skateboard off the roof of the house and nearly killing himself there as well.
Most of the humor between Wahlberg and Ferrell is squandered as their encounters are overly forced and rarely funny. I did chuckle a bit at the slow motion scene and the ending shock as the two dads realize just who the 4th graders who are picking on their son are, but other than a couple chuckle the odd couple really doesn’t get a whole lot laughs, which is sad and surprising considering how amazingly funny they were together in “The Other Guys’. The real funny parts came from Thomas Haden Church who plays Brad’s moronic and incredibly unhelpful boss who regales him with useless story after useless story about his sex life. Well, that and a small cameo from John Cena, who seems to be in EVERYTHING lately. Hannibal Buress plays a fairly useless roll as Griff, a down and out handyman, but his lines are just about as forced and unfunny as most of Ferrell’s and Wahlbergs.
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, crude and suggestive content, and for language
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=67593[/img]“Daddy’s Home” may not be a slam dunk as a movie, but the 1.85:1 AVC encoded Blu-ray suffers from none of the flaws that hampered the actual plot. Sumptuously shot with bright primaries and luscious saturation levels, “Daddy’s Home” is about as fantastic looking as a modern digitally shot film can look. The Whitaker’s home looks incredibly detailed with toys strewn about and the individual fibers on Will Ferrell’s rumpled suit looking perfect. Marky Mark’s rough physique and scraggly “bad boy” beard is razor sharp with great facial details and excellent wide angle shots. There are a few moments where a couple of scenes (mainly indoors inside the Whitaker house) look a bit softer than others, but they are short and barely noticeable. Contrast levels are perfectly balanced, allowing for good shadow detail and natural looking skin tones. Black levels are spot on perfect and never once did I notice any banding (except for the opening credits, and that really doesn’t count). An amazing looking transfer, Paramount did a knockout job with this one.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=67601[/img]Paramount has really decided to jump straight into the DTS:X game, and instead of a standard DTS-HD MA or even Dolby Atmos track, they have decide to go with a full on DTS:X track that is very satisfying. Being a comedy there isn’t a whole lot of opportunity for the object based track to really shine like many others, but it does a great job with adding some nice directional sounds to the otherwise front heavy track. The surrounds are mainly used as ambient noises with a few sounds like chirping birds, or the crash of a motorcycle roaring through the channels. The dialog is always crisp and perfectly intelligible at all times, with a good balance between the effects and said vocals. The track has good presence in the front of the room, with a picture perfect three speaker balance that really opens up the soundstage in the front. There’s a few rambunctious moments in the film were the sound bleeds to the back end and adds some LFE punch, such as when Brad tries to ride Dusty’s motorcycle, or when Dusty hits 5th gear in his sports car, but those are few and far between. LFE is powerful when needed, coming in loud and aggressive during those scenes as well as the 80’s inspired score (AC/DC ALWAYS deserves a good bass line no matter the circumstances). Again, I’m a little surprised that “Daddy’s Home” was one of the tracks to get one of the latest gen object based audio tracks being a front loaded comedy and all, but I welcome any and all additions to the Atmos and DTS:X family.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=67609[/img]• The Making of
• Halftime Stunt
• Hannibal Buress: The Perfect Houseguest
• Daddy Daughter Dance
• Child's Play
• Tony Hawk: Skater Double
• Deleted Scenes
“Dazddy’s Home” really does try its best to be a heartwarming family comedy that’s not as dirty and raunchy as your standard Will Ferrell comedy, but it sadly misses its mark time and time again. The predictable plot and horribly forced humor (especially the ending) is a bit odd and in all honesty, the whole film feels odd for a Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg comedy, whom I usually really enjoy in their respective films (and of course their previous collaboration). Sadly I can’t really recommend this as anything but a cheap rental on Redbox or Netflix if you want to go ahead and watch it, otherwise I would give it a pass, despite the stellar video and next generation audio. Skip it.
Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini
Directed by: Sean Anders
Written by: Sean Anders, Brian Burns
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS:X (DTS-HD MA 7.1 Core), French, Spanish, Portuguese DD 5.1, English DTS Headphone:X
Runtime: 96 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: March 22nd, 2016
Buy Daddy's Home On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Skip It
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