By ANDREW BRANCA
Daily Light Staff Writer
Will Ferrell is an actor who can be puzzling at times. Sometimes, his style of acting can be smart, witty and funny, drawing the audience into the joke. Other times, his style and lack focus is tasteless.
Ferrell’s latest film “Daddy’s Home” is just an extension of what he has been giving audiences for years since his first appearance on “Saturday Night Live.” The jokes and slapstick humor are funny, but they leave the audience craving more.
Ferrell plays Brad Whitaker. Whitaker is an over-the-top, emotional stepfather, who works hard to get his wife’s two children to love him. With the goal almost in reach, his step-children biological father Dusty Mayron (Mark Wahlberg) comes for a visit. After they meet, Whitaker tries to become friends with Mayron and invites him to stay for the week. Over time, the two men are constantly trying to make the children choose whom the love.
Comedy is one of the hardest types of genres to make because it is so subjective. What is funny to one person is not funny to the other. There are many Ferrell films I have watched repeatedly like “Anchorman.” The jokes still remain fresh long after the film has left theater. There have also been a few bright points that have shown growth in Ferrell’s comedic style and career as an actor like “ Stranger Than Fiction.”
While “Daddy’s Home” was not a bad film, it was also not a great film. It was something that when the audience leaves the theater, they will feel entertained but that feeling fades fast.
The film has few scenes that will make audience members chuckle. One scene in particular is when Whitaker attempts to win
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the children’s affections by having Christmas in April. “This Brad you speak of called me all the way up at the North Pole. He said his children were so sad that the biological father had missed so many Christmas’ and birthdays and special family holidays that he asked me to come here today, so Dusty could experience one Christmas with his kids before he leaves again,” Whitaker, dressed as Santa, said. "Probably for a long, long time — ho, ho, ho.”
Whitaker then reveals all the presents are from Brad. Some of the gifts include a pony for his stepdaughter, NBA playoff tickets for his stepson and a diamond for his wife.
Wahlberg’s performance is good, but it is nothing movie-goers haven’t seen from him before. He performs a rebel that plays by his own rules. This version of the character is just a little more toned down, so that some younger audience members can enjoy the film. The scene that sticks is when Mayron is reciting a bedtime story to his children. The story paints Mayron as the noble king returning to reclaim his thrown from the lesser “step king.” Mayron claims in the story that the “step king” has usurped his power in his absence by stealing not only his kingdom, but also his wife in the process.
“Daddy’s Home” is a funny film, but if you don’t get to see it while it is theaters, catch it as a rental. This film is rated PG-13 and runs 96 minutes.
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