I actually saw this film a couple of weeks ago, and experiment with recording an audio review on my drive home. Unfortunately, the sound was terrible and just wasn’t publishable so it has never seen the light of day. It’s something I may try again sometime in the future, but for now it’s back to good ole written reviews.
I don’t think it is a secret to anyone who knows me that I am a HUGE Wil Ferrell fan. I know there seems to be a bit of a split of opinion on him, as he is a bit of an acquired taste – but personally, I don’t think there is a funnier comedy actor out there than him. So inevitably, I am always super excited when I see that a new Ferrell film is coming out. Unfortunately, Will Ferrell isn’t in as high demand as he used to be and his films aren’t as main stream over here in the UK, which meant it wasn’t picked up my small local Cineworld, so had to pay extra to see this at one of the larger multiplexes.
As you’d expect from a Will Ferrell film, it isn’t hugely plot driven, there is just enough story there to allow for an hour and a half of ridiculous, and in my opinion, hilarious jokes. The premise is basically Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler’s daughter has got into college, but her scholarship from the town has been withdrawn, so they need a way to earn a lot of money to afford for her to go. Enter Jason Mantzoukas’s Frank, their down on his luck friend who comes up the idea to open an underground casino to raise funds. Cue hilarity.
You know what to expect from a film of this nature, and from Will Ferrell. He plays a very similar role in the majority of his films with slight twists – we’ve seen him play this kind of role as a news man, an ice skater, a basketball team owner, a soccer coach, a cop, to name a few – and it is always funny. What I love about this brand of humour, is it not only really silly and childish, but there is also a lot of physical humour away from the jokes. You need to watch the facial expressions and what is going on in the background because there is a lot more that has been put in there to give even more laughs.
The comedy cast line up is brilliant in this film, alongside Ferrell we have Amy Poehler who has proven she is a very funny actress and works well with Ferrell as we have seen in Blades of Glory, Jason Mantzoukas who I loved in the show The League brings his usual crazy brand of humor which doesn’t fail to land every time. Nick Kroll who also was great in The League has a minor role and is really funny every time he is on the screen, he plays a comedy villain very very well, as well as Rob Huebel who pops up a few times, as he tends to do in comedies like this. We’re also treated to a cameo from Jeremy Renner which sets up one of the funniest scenes in the films – a classic formula of selling a gag, and then re-selling it couple more times.
A lot of the humour comes from the characters becoming unhinged and going off the rails – which throughout the three main stars careers we have seen them do very well, and once again they don’t disappoint. If I were to have one criticism of the film it would be that Poehler could’ve been used more. She is incredibly funny and I think she deserved more screen time than she got.
This film doesn’t do anything new – you know what you’re going to get – it’s 90 minutes of joke after joke after joke which doesn’t really slow down. If you’re a fan of this kind of humour like me, you’ll enjoy it – if you’re not a Ferrell fan, just don’t go see it, because you probably won’t. I loved it, and I can’t wait to see another Ferrell new release. (I did see a week or so ago that there is a sequel to Daddy’s Home on the horizon which I am very excited for!)
8/10 – I appreciate I am biased due to the fact I am a Will Ferrell fanboy.