By Hemanth Kissoon
"We will be infected by the sh*t-eating crazy monster babies," Armando (Will Ferrell) to his brother Raul (Diego Luna)
CASA DE MI PADRE might have been satisfying if released prior to the AUSTIN POWERS franchise and OSS 117: CAIRO, NEST OF SPIES (not that the latter is funny), but meta gags and self-conscious crummy filmmaking has been done before and done better. Armando and his two amigos at the beginning trying to out laugh each other is so tired, though admittedly, if you like Ferrell’s brand of shtick, which I do, then it does amuse a little. And this is really who this film will please, the diehard comedian’s fans. I try and catch all his cinema releases, but I did struggle and am struggling to find praise for a movie, which is both ambitious (for a mainstream entertainer – how many do you know acting in a different language?) and lazy – the gags and story feel rushed in their conception.
Shady dealings are the order of the day. Onza (Gael García Bernal) is a crime lord, brought into Armando’s family’s sphere by his dodgy brother, Raul, who in turn adds his stunning fiancé Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez) into the mix. There are shootouts and romance, though just contexts for the slew of attempted funnies chucked at the audience, hoping I guess that enough will hit the mark. Thinking how honed THE OTHER GUYS or STEP BROTHERS were, disappointment is the resulting emotion. Got to give props to Ferrell for doing an entire Spanish language film, and his C.V. does show he is willing to try different levels of television and cinema (e.g. EVERYTHING MUST GO, STRANGER THAN FICTION); so we can’t be too hard on him.