Daddy's Home Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini. Directed by Sean Anders. Rated PG-13. Opens Friday.
The last time Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg teamed up, it was for the inconsistent but fairly entertaining action-comedy The Other Guys, from regular Ferrell collaborator Adam McKay (Anchorman, Talladega Nights). Ferrell and Wahlberg return for Daddy’s Home, but their chemistry does not. Directed and co-written by Sean Anders (Horrible Bosses 2), Daddy’s Home is an unappealing combination of disingenuous family-comedy lessons and vulgar adult humor, neither of which succeeds. Both stars are on autopilot, with Ferrell as a milquetoast, eager-to-please stepdad who feels threatened when his wife’s bad-boy ex (Wahlberg) comes to town. Their subsequent feud is predictable and unfunny, combining painful slapstick with uncomfortable gross-out jokes. Poor Linda Cardellini gets stuck in the middle as the woman they’re fighting over, reduced to a pawn between two clueless, inconsiderate men. She’d be better off leaving them both behind—and the audience would be, too.