Movie Review: Daddy’s Home – Hannibal Buress Single Handedly Saves this Film From Disaster

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I once tried chocolate covered bacon. While you wouldn’t expect it to work, weirdly, it did. While I wouldn’t live on it solely, I’d eat it again.

And that’s exactly how I feel about the pairing of Mark Wahlberg and Will Farrell. I enjoyed them in The Other Guys, so will admit it was a strange mix, and decided to give them a second shot on this one. Unfortunately, much like chocolate covered bacon, you can have too much of a good thing.

Farrell plays stepdad Brad, who is starting to get along with his new step kids. That is until Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) re-enters the picture intent on taking back his family. The two try to one up each other, while the long suffering wife just looks on in the thankless roll of ‘generic supportive female’.

The movie doesn’t capture the hijinks of The Other Guys as it lacks bite in the script. There’s no shock or laugh out loud moments. Instead the movie is all predictable punchlines and jokes that go on just a hair too long.

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The only thing I liked about this movie was Hannibal Buress, the lesser known comic who is most known for the Bill Cosby rape joke that started the flood of lawsuits to follow. In this, he was a hilariously inept handyman who decides to just hang out all the time and insert himself into the two main characters’ fights, often stealing the show himself. His small but significant roll is one of the best parts of the film.

His character is so clever, I feel like maybe he pulled the pen from the writer’s hand and rewrote his own part. His clever character doesn’t seem to fit in with the generic, “good enough” writing style of all the other characters.  My assumption is that his role was highly improvised.

I enjoy Will Farrell, but it has to be in the right roll. He’s been playing characters so long that even when writers try to make him real, he feels clichéd and boring. In this film, he’s nothing special and certainly not memorable. Mark Wahlberg is equally weak. Both men play stereotypes while trying to get laughs, but the whole effort feels forced.

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This is not The Other Guys. In that movie, the unique combination worked because the script had the right amount of edge. In this one, it just feels boring, though it is mercifully short. But it’s certainly no one’s best work to date…with the exception of Hannibal Buress. That guy was the flower that grew out of the pot of dirt.

For Hannibal Buress alone, I’ll give this one a worth the watch. The movie isn’t so much painful as it’s just not that funny. As a result, if you’re looking for laugh out loud humor, I highly recommend you fast forward to all the Hannibal Buress parts. As far as I’m concerned, he made this movie.

But this is one where the Wahlberg/ Farrell comedy team just didn’t work. It’s a predictable story with a lot of predictable humor that very few people will find funny. It just not interesting enough to be laughable.

WE GAVE IT : 3 STARS! Watch the Official Trailer and See the Official Movie Poster below


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Movie Review: Max (2015) – Jarring, Disorienting and Surprisingly Violent

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When it comes to dog movies, my standard is Marley & Me. It’s the perfect blend of humor and sentimentality that most dog lovers can enjoy. However, it’s easy to go wrong with dog movies, especially when people try to cram too much into the plot.

That’s kind of what happened with Max.

The premise is this. A bomb sniffing dog named Max is adopted by his grieving handler’s family after he’s killed in action. It’s earnestly patriotic and clearly aimed at conservative Christian audiences. If you need the plot, take an entire season of Lassie, significantly increase the violence and you have Max.

There is a lot of violence. A surprising amount of violence for a PG movie. It was almost a bit too much for me and this probably isn’t a movie I’d consider bringing my kid to. And I brought my kid to Ted.

That’s because it’s harsh and hard to watch, not to mention stuffed full of clichés. We have the younger brother in the shadow of his more successful and impressive older brother, who gets attention from their distant father by acting out. Of course, when given the opportunity to chat with his older brother, he turns it down and instead plays video games.

So of course the older brother is going to buy it a few minutes later. This leaves his trusty canine companion with nowhere to go and in danger of being euthanized.

So the family adopts him and he bonds with the little brother. It’s a good redemption movie that would have been fine on its own. It wouldn’t have been a Marley & Me, but it wouldn’t have turned into a train wreck either.

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Then, suddenly, for no reason at all, we’re plunged into some kind of side plot where another army guy is up to something nefarious, with the help of a bunch of drooling, angry Rottweilers that Max fights more than a few times. I don’t know if they thought the movie needed more action, but it actually got a bit ridiculous.

If they’d left it alone and stuck with the simple story, it might have worked. But really, this sentimental coming of age story becomes something ugly and dark. You know what it feels like? It feels like what would happen if someone asked Quinton Tarantino to write an episode of the Veggie Tales. It just got weird, and filled with violent intrigue. It really was like two completely different movies slapped together. On their own, each could have been a passable effort.

But slapped together, it’s just jarring and disorienting.

I will say the movie has its strong points. I particularly liked the scene where Max is pacing around nervously during a Fourth of July celebration, because he’s a bomb dog with PTSD. Is it weird that the dog was one of the best actors in the movie?

For dog lovers, it’s a decent movie, but the dog fight scenes were a bit too much and the entire secondary plot was very confusing. All in all, it’s not terrible but it’s just not cohesive, which makes it hard to watch.

And it’s sure no Marley & Me.

WE GAVE IT : 3 STARS! Watch the Official Trailer and See the Official Movie Poster below


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