All Brad has ever wanted was to be a Dad, and he works hard to be accepted by his two stepchildren. Just as he feels like they’re starting to accept him, their motorbike riding, special ops father returns with designs on taking back his family.
Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini
Director: Sean Anders
After trying to impress everyone by skateboarding off the roof and accidentally electrocuting himself, Brad (Will Ferrell) lies broken on the half pipe. His wife, Sarah (Linda Cardellini) comes rushing over, asking why her ex husband doesn’t do something and asking him what to do… And that’s the core problem with this film. At first you feel like Sarah is trying to let Brad learn his lesson about standing up for himself, setting boundaries, whatever. But really… WTF? Who is this woman that needs someone to tell her how to call 911? Who takes no control over the situation and her life at any point? It’s a very odd thing to watch, especially as the situation spirals. It feels more like you’re watching a housewife from a 60’s sitcom than a real woman. When you think about it, that’s actually pretty bad.
Anyway, that said, the film is really very funny, and had me laughing out loud in many places. The chemistry between the two leads, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg is really good. Both have excellent timing, and play off each other to well. They’re also both very likeable, accessible characters. Even though the situations are heightened, you feel like both of them actually want to do the right thing, or are good people at heart, who just have some immaturities to grow through in the course of the film. There are also some very sweet moments that lift the film from being just fun to having some real emotional investment.
The kids are relatively one dimensional, but they work because they’re not bratty or overly nice and cute. The side characters also get some good mileage, and add to the plot nicely.
Overall, this is a really laugh out loud funny film, and one to see with the family or for date night.
See It If: you like Will Ferrell films, or are looking for a comedy during the school holidays. If you like strong female characters, sadly, you’re not going to find one here.