Daddy’s Home

Rated 2.0

A straight-arrow, earnest and well-meaning but slightly dull stepfather (Will Ferrell) finds his cozy life turned inside-out when his wife’s freewheeling bad-boy ex-husband (Mark Wahlberg) blows into town, dazzling the kids and making stepdad look even duller than he really is. The visit escalates into a testosterone-powered pissing contest, with each man trying to out-alpha-male the other. The script by Brian Burns, John Morris and director Sean Anders has promise, and Anders grapples with a good cast (including Linda Cardellini as Ferrell’s wife, Thomas Haden Church as his boss and Hannibal Buress as a freeloading handyman). There are a few good laughs scattered about, but with these stars it should have been a lot funnier—and Thomas Haden Church shouldn’t have gotten most of the funniest lines. J.L.