Will Ferrell is one of the most well-regarded comedic actors in the business, but critics seem to agree that his latest project, “Daddy’s Home,” doesn’t even come close to matching his best.
The film currently suffers a 22 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with only 12 of the 50 critics counted giving it a positive review. Though some agreed the film had some high points, most took issue with its awkward juxtaposition of raunchy humor and kid-friendly story.
TheWrap’s Alonso Duralde agreed, placing the bulk of the blame on director Sean Anders (“That’s My Boy,” “Horrible Bosses 2”) and co-writers Brian Burns (“Entourage”) and John Morris (“We’re the Millers,” “Mr. Popper’s Penguins”).
“This PG-13 comedy tries to split the difference,” he wrote in his review, “offering an extended and completely unfunny bit about the shape of [Ferrell’s] (thankfully offscreen) testicles while couching the movie in a suffocatingly cozy and kid-friendly domesticity.”
Read some of the worst reviews below:
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle:
“Picture it this way: Imagine the idea for the movie as an enormous foot. Then imagine the form of the movie — a family comedy — as a small shoe. Then imagine the script as a kind of shoehorn. The shoehorn can’t fit the foot into the shoe without damaging one or the other. So the screenwriters arrive at the solution to cut off half the foot, shove the stump in the shoe and say, ‘Isn’t this lovely? Isn’t this fashion?'”
Jesse Hassenger, AV Club:
“‘Daddy’s Home’ isn’t as slack or laughless as the worst vehicles for Ferrell’s contemporaries Ben Stiller or Adam Sandler. Like other comedies co-written and/or directed by Sean Anders, it’s fitfully amusing and, given that quality, a little too sure of itself. Overconfidence in the face of mediocrity is something Ferrell usually satirizes. This time, he’s more of a participant.”
Tom Russo, Boston Globe:
“Consider it a predictable movie with flashes of unpredictability, one that actually coaxes some early laughs with, yes, scatological wit, then makes us groan when it shamefully takes the low road back to poopville a bit later on.”
Allen Salkin, New York Daily News:
“There is conflict and then resolution, none of it very surprising.”
Dave Calhoun, Time Out:
“The fact that [Mark Wahlberg’s character] is actually a bit of a sad sack is something a smarter film could have developed. But director Sean Anders‘ film tells a basic story in which strutting males repeatedly lock horns to varying degrees of comic effect. Ferrell’s sensitive, PC stepdad is amusing at first but becomes less engaging as he buckles under pressure, while Wahlberg looks like he’s sauntered in from a different film altogether. Linda Cardellini has little to do other than look exasperated.”
Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice:
“Why not spend a couple of minutes guessing at what scenes are certain to be in the movie? Ferrell crashing that bike, of course. Comical compare-and-contrast shirtlessness, certainly. A funny dog? A daddy/daughter dance? A long-suffering wife and mother (Linda Cardellini) who, to facilitate the comedy, lets her ex move in to the house and then takes turns encouraging both of these men in their jackassery? Yes, yes and yes. Daddy’s Home is composed almost entirely of setups you’ve seen from its predecessors. (Hey, that’s working for Star Wars.)”