Case de mi Padre is the new comedy film starring Will Ferrell. It is notably different from his other films, not because it is any funnier but because it is all in Spanish.
It tells the story of a simple rancher (Ferrell) who has lived his whole life in his father’s house. His brother, played by Diego Luna, comes back home and brings with him his new sexy fiancée, who inexplicably falls for Ferrell and involves him in a drugs war. You don’t much care for the plot as the film goes on and it works best when it is simply ridiculous; especially scenes featuring a wise and very badly puppeteered jaguar.
Case de mi Padre mocks the Mexican telenovela much as Black Dynamite mocked the blacksploitation films of the 70s. So it is overly dramatic and purposely features bad continuity and shoddy effects. It doesn’t have as many laughs as Black Dynamite yet it has enough to keep you relatively entertained: it gets a bit tiresome towards the end.
On the whole the largely Mexican cast is great. Diego Luna, and Gael García Bernal as the film’s main villain, are amusing but are much better straight actors. It is Ferrell that stands out. His facial expressions in every scene are funny and even if that is not enough to lift the film out of mediocrity, it does make it continuously watchable.
Although director Matt Piedmont has included bad sets and cuts on purpose, he has shot his film beautifully: the colours are vibrant and the costumes fantastic.
A special note must be given to Padre himself. Ferrell’s father is played by Pedro Armendáriz Jr who tragically died of cancer late last year. He appeared in many Mexican and American films including The Mask of Zorro, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Amistad and Licence to Kill (his father had also appeared in a Bond film, playing a lead role in From Russia With Love). Here he displays his comic ability and is the funniest person in the film after Ferrell. The scenes in which he shows his disappointment in his son are tremendous. He was a terrific talent and will be sorely missed.
Case de mi Padre is not a knockout comedy, but does have a few laugh out loud moments. It just needs a few more jokes to sustain the 84 minutes. OK, but not Ferrell’s best. Bring on Anchorman 2.
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