The second pairing of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg isn’t as funny as their first offering, The Other Guys, but it’s still funny enough to warrant a look.
Ferrell is in bumbling mode as Brad, stepfather to a couple of kids who hate him and the husband of Sarah (Linda Cardellini). Just when the kids are starting to only hate him a little, Sarah’s ex husband Dusty (Wahlberg) comes back into the picture in a boorish bid to win back his ex’s love, reclaim his children and get Brad out of the house. This provides a setup that sees Ferrell’s Brad subjected to all forms of humiliation and injury, including a calamitous trek through his house on a motorcycle and a rendezvous with electrical wires after getting some impressive air off a half-pipe.
Ferrell and Wahlberg are funny together, and the movie does a decent job of making them both likeable idiots. Thomas Haden Church steals scenes as Brad’s obnoxious boss at the Smooth Jazz radio station, as does Hannibal Buress as a handyman who winds up crashing on Brad’s couch.
The film is nasty, but it’s neutered a bit by it’s PG-13 rating. It’s clear this is being marketed at families, but that’s a mistake right there. I’m sure there’s a nastier cut of this movie, and if I have a complaint it’s that the movie doesn’t go all the way with its sinister message.
It pulls some punches, keeping it from being the dark comedy it deserves to be, and making it more of a feel good film with some sinister undertones. Still, I laughed enough, and the film is recommended to fans of Ferrell and Wahlberg.