Released 23rd November (Australia)
Seen 27th November
Directed by Sean Anders
Written by Sean Anders, Brian Burns & John Morris
Produced by Paramount Pictures, Gary Sanchez Productions & Huahua Media
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Will Farrell, Mel Gibson & John Lithgow
According to Merriam Webster the term ‘Patricide’, derived from the latin patricisa, means “One who murders his or her own father” or “The murder of one’s own father”… just a suggestion that every character in this film might like to take on board.
To describe the basic plot of this movie implies that there is one but really there isn’t, it’s a sequence of bits that end abruptly without a real punchline and vary wildly in tone and comedy style. Some jokes land but most of them don’t. Most of these “Jokes” require you to laugh at nothing except Mel Gibson being a complete asshole who can just burn in the depths of hell. I hate his character so much, he turns up and the idea is that he’s so handsome and awesome that everyone loves him but… he’s not. I mean maybe back when it was the 80’s, sure, but he turns up and looks like a leather bag that’s been blown up and deflated a few dozen times and has an attitude so disgusting that even sewer rats look down on him. Even if we ignore what we know about Mel as a person, his character is just the worst.
In fact he is not the only bad actor in this movie. I’m just going to say what I think many are thinking now… I’m sick of Will Farrell. Specifically, I’m sick and tired of seeing him play the exact same character in every movie. This character is Buddy the Elf which is the only character Will has. He changes names and costumes, his performance is identical each time and it’s getting annoying. It was annoying in The House and now it’s just tired. I get it, you can scream and make a stupid face. Do something else, anything else. Also, the kids are irritating, as is Alessandra Ambrosio, everyone is irritating with 3 exceptions.
John Lithgow is genuinely adorable and charming, there are several times in the movie where he is going to just brighten the scene with his presence. Linda Cardellini is genuinely funny and has a lot of quick moments that really do get a giggle out (Including one moment where she tells Mel Gibson’s character to piss off, which I approve of so much). Finally Mark Wahlberg actually get’s a fair few chuckles, he’s a good straight man who bounces off people and let’s them handle the jokes… and when they drop the ball, which happens a lot, he picks it up and lands a decent joke every now and then. Those three are pretty funny and I’d happily watch them doing a movie on their own, just without the rest of the cast.
Now… let’s talk about the awkward joke that had been in the news. That being a joke where Mel Gibson’s character tells a child to just go kiss a girl he likes and “Smack her on the caboose” and… yeah, the joke is that, that joke is not funny and is exceptionally awkward. It’s also a joke that could’ve been cut, and then they could’ve cut the incest joke that it leads too right at the end of the movie (Oh yeah, this film has an incest joke… because that’s the kind of comedy that belongs in a family picture). There are so many times when the joke seems to be “Mel Gibson is inappropriate around everyone” and that can be done well, it’s just not done well here
Nothing is done well here, the jokes are not funny and everyone just seems to be here for the paycheck. Just a bad movie that has no reason to exist except that the original made about 200 million worldwide. If there is a kind and loving God, this film won’t make anywhere near that amount and they won’t make any more of these disastrously awful films.