Ugh… every year, there’s one last comedy fart that the year has squeeze out at the end. 2016 had WHY HIM?, now we have this one. What can I possibly say that isn’t blatantly obvious? It looks like a bad comedy.
The story looks like it’s about a pair of brothers who never knew their real father, so when they get leads to multiple men who might be, they go on a quest to find him.
Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Ed Helms (I DO… UNTIL I DON’T , THE LORAX , THE HANGOVER , and the upcoming TAG ) and Owen Wilson (WONDER , MARLEY & ME , THE ROYAL TENEBAUMS , and the upcoming SHANGHAI DAWN, no release date announced). In support, we have Glenn Close (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY , THE STEPFORD WIVES , and 101 DALMATIANS ), J.K. Simmons (JUSTICE LEAGUE , WHIPLASH , SPIDER-MAN , and upcoming films THE FRONT RUNNER  and KLAUS ), Ving Rhames (THE STAR , FINAL FANTASY: THE SPIRITS WITHIN , CON AIR , and upcoming films CON MAN  and MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT ), Retta (LEGO NINJAGO , MIDDLE SCHOOL , and TV show PARKS AND REC [2009 – 2015]), and Katie Aselton (THE GIFT , TV show LEGION [2017 – ongoing], and upcoming films DEEP MURDER  and BOOK CLUB ).
Now for the crew. Directing, we have Lawrence Sher, known for… being a cinematographer, actually. But he’s making his feature film debut as a director. Congrats, sir. Penning the screenplay is Justin Malen, known for OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY (2016), 1 episode of TV show TROPHY WIFE (2014), and upcoming films, both having no release-dates announced, are BAD TEACHER 2 and SHERLOCK HOLMES 3. Composing the score is Rob Simonsen, known for THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK (2017), THE AGE OF ADALINE (2015), TV show DOLLHOUSE (2009 – 2010), and upcoming films LOVE, SIMON (2018) and TULLY (2018). The cinematographer is John Lindley, known for LEGION (2010), THE SUM OF ALL FEARS (2002), and FIELD OF DREAMS (1989). Finally, the film’s editor is Dana E. Glauberman, known for YOUNG ADULT (2011), UP IN THE AIR (2009), and JUNO (2007).
Overall, no… just, no. Kill me now.
This is my honest opinion of: FATHER FIGURES
Uptight physical therapist Pete (Ed Helms) and his fun-loving laid-back young brother Kyle (Owen Wilson) have reunited after four years at the wedding of their mother Helen (Glenn Close). Soon, they learn that their biological father wasn’t dead as they were both lead to believe, and learn that it might be famed former football player, now football correspondent, Terry Bradshaw (himself) and set out to look for him, eager to know what happened.
DISCLAIMER: It is impossible for me to properly talk about this movie without going into the spoilers. If you’re interested in seeing this movie without getting spoiled… get better taste in comedies, but otherwise skip this review until you’ve seen it. Repeat: SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
I wrote my Bottom 10 too prematurely. It’s set in stone now, so I’m not going back to change it, but let’s say, in my heart, this is one of the five worst movies I’ve seen all year and this was about as personally insulting as it can get.
The movie is completely marinated in humor that ranges from simple unfunny to grotesquely stupid. Hell, the opening joke is confused: an old man lost his keys and found out they were up his ass the entire time and that’s why he’s been feeling pain back there. But as relentless as the movie is with its unfunny, soulless excuse for “comedy,” the flick is almost a blatant middle finger to those who have been adopted. Look, I understand. Every case is different. Some adopted kids might go their entire lives never knowing that they were adopted because their parents don’t see the point. They’re their child, raised and grew up by their hands, why complicate matters. Others, like myself, have always known. The act of revealing adoption to kids isn’t an easy one, I imagine, and reactions can vary depending on timing and execution. But this is philosophy for another time. What deeply angers me about this movie and why I hate it do fucking much is that there is no reason for anything that happens in this movie to happen. In the beginning, we learn that Pete and Kyle’s father wasn’t dead, like they were always lead to believe, but rather that he’s still alive and out there. First off, why lie about that?! If he was an abusive father, then fine, that could be understandable motivation. But that’s not what the movie gives. Instead, they say it’s this kind and famous person. Chasing lead after lead, finding one “father” after another, in the end, it’s revealed that this wild goose chase was all a big fucking lie. Turns out, Helen isn’t even their real mother. She adopted them after their biological mother died giving birth to them and because she was an anonymous woman seeking help in an organization that doesn’t ask for background, Helen never knew the mother’s name and knew even less about the father.
On the surface, I can see how a story like this would be amazing. The pieces were all there to make for an emotional character-story that provides an interesting perspective. But here’s the insult: the entire plot of the story is utterly pointless. The origins of Pete and Kyle aren’t anything to be feared or ashamed of, so what was the point of hiding the information. Or if the motivation was to see them as her own children and never reveal their origins, why reveal them now? Literally, the movie offer the weakest explanation. And it’s about the cruelest thing that an adoptive parent can do, sending her children on an odyssey across the country to look for a father that she knew they would never find, knowing exactly how much finding their father meant to each of them, especially Pete. All in the name of, what? So the boys can spend time with each other? What bullshit is this movie trying to feed me? In the beginning, Pete’s reaction to Helen’s revelation was completely natural: angry. Kyle’s standing there saying that Pete was acting too harshly, but really, it’s everyone else reacting unrealistically. I was on Pete’s side. But as the story progresses and we get to that fucking ending, I couldn’t be on anyone’s side.
I haven’t even tackled how this movie insultingly takes such great talent like Simmons, Rhames, and Walken and makes them not funny, or the mountain loads of unfunny gags, but when your entire movie has about the biggest insult that a movie can deliver, bad comedy would be the least of the movie’s problems. There is nothing redeeming about this movie. I don’t think it’s in theaters anymore, which is a good thing, but when it comes out on Blu-Ray or streaming sites, don’t bother. Stay away from this movie. It’s only going to piss you off.
My honest rating for FATHER FIGURES: 1/5