Daddy’s Home

Year: 2015
Production Co: Gary Sanchez Productions
Studio: Paramount
Director: Sean Anders
Writer: Brian Burns/Sean Anders/John Morris
Cast: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cerdellini, Thomas Haden Church, Bobby Cannavale

Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg's last comic outing together, The Other Guys, was anything but a typical studio comedy. Maybe it was the presence of Adam McKay behind the camera that kept it from being such a cookie cutter, trailer-gags-in-search-of-story effort, but with a director of far less distinction in Sean (Horrible Bosses 2) Anders, it's obvious in the first minute that's exactly what you're getting in Daddy's Home.

Ferrell is Brad, an over-eager stepdad to two precocious kids who wants to be perfect in every way no matter how uncool he is. Enter the biggest threat to his position in the form of their biological father Dusty (Wahlberg) – everything Brad isn't with his motorcycle, muscles and leather jacket.

Dusty apparently wants back into his kids' and former wife Sara's life (Linda Cerdellini, the latest in a long history of straight women opposite idiotic men), and his cachet makes it seem like there's no contest. The battle is on and, despite a few funny moments – 90 percent of which, naturally, are in the trailer – it's clash of the cliches as the writers drag out an army of tired stereotypes about Dads who try too hard and embarrass everyone, school life, raising kids and all the other cultural clashes in the Hollywood Comedy Situations manual.

The whole time Thomas Haden Church was on screen as Brad's enigmatic/confusing boss I couldn't help thinking about how far he's fallen after being the next big thing back around the time of Sideways and Spider-Man 3. Ferrell will suffer no such decline as long as he keeps doing this, because he's never had any pretensions of doing anything of any more quality.

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