Daddy’s Home 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
The first time they teamed up, I was floored by THE OTHER GUYS. It was a movie that introduced us to the unexpected comedy duo of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. Ironically, it also highlighted Adam McKay’s economic awareness to the corruption on Wall Street way before he’d go on to direct THE BIG SHORT. So seeing Ferrell and Wahlberg back together again, at least for me, was cause for excitement. But after watching DADDY’S HOME, it’s easy to see why McKay would have stayed far away from this one.
Brad (Ferrell) is a humble smooth jazz radio station worker, who’s attempting to win over his step kids. We watch as the step kids drawings from school transition from Brad being covered in poop to Brad simply being unharmed. He does everything to win them over, from leaving inspirational messages in their sack lunches and donating a lot of his free time to being the kids scout leaders and coaches. Just when Brad’s starting to make some headway, Dusty (Wahlberg), the kid’s birth father, returns.
Dusty easily wins back the kids, but Dusty also looks to win back his ex-wife, Sara (Cardellini), from Brad. One of the first problems with DADDY’S HOME is that Dusty’s life is a complete mystery. There are implications here and there, but the reasons behind his falling out with Sara and his inability to be there for his kids, are simply chalked up to nerves and not wanting to let go of his carefree spirit. More unbelievable is his selfishness to woo back a woman that he lost, using his kids as pawns. If we’re supposed to feel sympathy for Dusty when he does find a soul, it doesn’t work.
Brad’s also too lukewarm to really do anything about Dusty’s advances, until a scene where Brad splurges on Christmas gifts, Lakers tickets, and a pony. The alleged competition over the kid’s hearts isn’t funny and relies heavily on predictable visual gags that are way below the talents of our two main leads. Even in scenes where there is opportunity to chew on the fat of the story and exchange witty one liners, we’re subjected to unfunny passive aggressive jabs and jokes that were spoiled for you in the theatrical trailer.
DADDY’S HOME is a comedy that seems like it was fun to film, but it’s not fun to watch. There’s lots of nauseating cameos and when Hannibal Burress (the comedian who stirred up trouble for Bill Cosby) arrives, it’s too late to plug up the holes on the sinking ship. There’s a lot of funny actors and a lot of good set-ups, but none of it ever amounts to anything other than a paycheck for the stars and laughs that would make the most immature of people feel guilty.
DADDY’S HOME is an 80’s idea with contemporary jokes. I can’t help but imagine Michael Keaton and Sylvester Stallone playing the leads three decades ago with John Hughes behind the camera. That’s not to say that Ferrell and Wahlberg didn’t try. It’s just that the movie is too dumb to be clever and too predictable to try something new. Maybe the next time these two want to work together, they’ll wait to see if McKay’s name pops up somewhere under director or writer.
Note: the 4K part of this review was written by Brad Sturdivant
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: Maybe I’ve become jaded with 4K upscales, but I was actually impressed with the video presentation of DADDY’S HOME. For all of its faults, DADDY’S HOME is a very bright, colorful film, filled with rich colors and they come through looking wonderful on 4K. Most of the improvements are due to the HDR (available in Dolby Vision, but reviewed on a regular HDR10 set) which amplifies all of the vibrant colors, making them look even better than the already nice Blu-ray. DADDY’S HOME may not be a movie you’d think of to show off your new 4K set, but it looks surprisingly good on 4K.
Audio: The DTS-X track is a fine addition to the nice video presentation. This isn’t a loud or bombastic audio kind of movie, but the DTS-X track does well when it’s utilized.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
There are no special features exclusive to the 4K, but it does include a Blu-ray of the film, which includes the following special features:
The Making of DADDY’S HOME (11:54): Your typical behind the scenes featuring packed with interviews with the cast and crew. Interesting hints that this is a script that’s been floating around Hollywood for a while.
Daddy-Off (6:44): This feature glosses over the conflict between Brad and Dusty. It doesn’t really add too much to the established duel between the two characters.
Daddy Daughter Dance (5:11): This feature goes over the final set piece of the movie, the Daddy Daughter Dance. The characters talk about how pivotal it is to the story, but I still find it to be a ludicrous scene.
Halftime Stunt (8:55): They discuss the difficulties of filming in the Lakers stadium. They then try to talk about the importance of the scene to the story, despite it being a grotesque advertisement for an NBA team and some even more gratuitous cameos.
Tony Hawk: Skater Double (4:02): This feature focuses on the filming of the skateboarding scene. Mainly interesting for how they filmed the stunts on a much smaller skate ramp in the backyard of a home.
Child’s Play (5:00): This feature focuses in on working with children on set. It’s a cute feature, showing the kids and older actors having a lot of fun on set.
Hannibal Buress: The Perfect Houseguest (5:36); This feature focuses on Hannibal Buress’ character. I really like Burress and its great watching him fool around behind the scenes and jibbing and jabbing with others.
Bloopers – Jeet Kune Do (2:05): This feature is a short segment about how Wahlberg couldn’t quite keep his composure during the bedtime storytelling scenes.
Deleted and Extended Scenes (7:38): There are five scenes altogether. None feature jokes and were cut for obvious time restraint reasons