It’s dad vs step-dad in the comedy Daddy’s Home. Brad Whitaker (Will Ferrell) is a man who wants nothing more but to feel accepted by his two step kids. However, Brad’s search for acceptance is complicated when his wife Sara’s (Linda Cardellini) ex-husband Dusty Mayron (Mark Wahlberg) comes for a visit. A much cooler individual than Brad, Dusty quickly becomes a major obstacle in Brad’s fight for his family’s affections.
Five years after starring together in The Other Guys, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg reunite in this comedy about two dads competing for the affections of their kids. The film delves quite a bit into the issue of what exactly makes someone a dad. Even if Brad is not his step kids biological father, does it make him any less of a caring dad? Dusty might seem all cool on the outside, but is his even capable of the little challenges that all father’s must face, especially in this current era of helicopter parenting?
I will say that there are many moments within Daddy’s Home that are quite funny, particularly when the film resorts to physical comedy. However, thematically the film does get a little too heavy at times for what is ultimately a broad comedy. Even though the film is played for laughs, the challenge of step-parenting is still a pretty serious subject, which prevents the film at time from being as fun as it should be.
Will Ferrell has now reached the inevitable point in his career where he plays a family man and he is actually more of a straight man to Mark Wahlberg’s more showy (and shirtless) performance. While there are still some signs of the Will Ferrell of old in the film, it is still interesting that he has toned down his level of humour somewhat. Thomas Haden Church is also in the film has Brad’s boss Leo, who is mostly all about telling completely random relationship stories. Then there is a very notable cameo towards the end of the film, which actually brings a joke featured in the film Trainwreck full circle.
When it is all said and done, Daddy’s Home is a film that has funny moments, but it ultimately somewhat forgettable. While the film does make some interesting comments about what it means to be a parent in this day and age, these issues does detract a bit from the comedy of the film. That said, I was still somewhat entertained.