Director: Matt Piedmont
Starring: Will Ferrell, Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal
Running Time: 84 minutes
Release: June 8th
While teaser trailers bait the trap for eager fans ahead of the release of Anchor Man 2, the latest film starring Will Ferrell attempts to remind us of what he can do. Casa de Mi Padre (House of my Father), a comedy in Spanish rather than a Spanish comedy, hits Irish cinemas on June 8th and you really want it to be good don’t you? That’s just greedy though.
Will plays Armando Alvarez, who welcomes his hot shot brother Raul (Diego Luna) back from the City to the family ranch in Mexico along with his gorgeous new fiance Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez). Armando and his father have pinned their hopes on the family’s pride and joy Raul to clear their debts and save the ranch. In the process Armando unknowingly starts to fall for Sonia who is also tied up with notorious drug lord, Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal). Onza is less than happy with the return of Raul who appears to be stepping on his turf by dabbling in drug deals of his own. Trouble ensues.
The entire film is in Spanish with Will’s laboured, almost phonetic pronunciation paired awkwardly against the fluidity of the Mexican actors in their native tongue. This is a big production, glossy and stylized with the references to Pulp Fiction, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, and Scarface coming hard and fast. Though incorporated into this, and where the majority of the gags lie, are fake sets, bad continuity and jumpy editing. These gags will get a few laughs but it’s not enough to hang a film on and it falls a little short of actually being funny. Next to chain-smoking Garcia Bernal and Luna throwing coke around like it’s their birthday, battling it out for the Tony Montana crown, the joke keeps creeping back to Ferrell’s bad accent. The result is the film comes across like a poor man’s Nachro Libre but without the off-beat charm or an original plot angle. If perhaps they were aiming for slapstick, then sadly it falls short there also as it never fully commits to the genre.
Casa de Mi Padre‘s heart is in the right place and it would take a cold fish not to find Will Ferrell’s hulking frame and seemingly innocent persona a little bit funny. However the moments to appreciate what he does best are few and far between and fans deserve more.