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Wick's Review

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Created Apr 29, 2018 06:33PM PST • Edited May 04, 2018 10:05PM PST

  1. Quality Help-l
  2. Good 3.0

    Father Figures gets in touch with the inner child lurking just below the surface of several grown men, making it an emblematic comedy of our infantilized time. Fortunately, it’s a pretty funny one, worth a play.

    There’s one terrific scene, when an unusually confident Ed Helms picks up an unusually sad Katie Aselton. Two adults meet in a hotel bar and mange to flirt, making the movie, because he’s not good at it but she is.

    There are also occasional LOLs, including a pissing battle between a man and a boy. Creepy as that reads, there’s nothing creepy about how it’s staged, making it all the funnier. Pissing? Poop jokes must be passé.

    Netflix was made for comedies like Father Figures, a guilty pleasure that carries the Hollywood male mail.

  3. Very Good 3.5

    Owen Wilson & Ed Helms are two reliable comedic actors, even if it’s a stretch to view them as twins. Their mom was a hook-up queen back in the day, by her own admission, so maybe that explains it.

    • Glenn Close reliably delivers, even if this role is written fairly one-note.
    • J. K. Simmons, Terry Bradshaw, Christopher Walken, Ving Rhames and Harry Shearer play her paramours, old and new. Solid team.
    • Katie Aselton jumps offscreen as a single woman in need.
    • Katt Williams is amiably funny as a put-upon hitchhiker.
    • June Squibb is reliably tart.
    • Ali Wong plays “Ali”, a young nurse with a thing for older men.
    • Retta grimaces as a patient wedding planner.
    • Jack McGee, Ryan Cartwright & Ryan Gaul play three sons of a cop.
    • Jessica Gomes impresses less than she should as Owen Wilson’s woman.
  4. Male Stars Very Good 3.5
  5. Female Stars Very Good 3.5
  6. Female Costars Very Good 3.5
  7. Male Costars Very Good 3.5
  8. Good 3.0

    Father Figures stands as an archetype of Hollywood studio flick, complete with a rookie director (Lawrence Sher) and writer (Justin Malen) fleshing out the high concept comedy. On a related note, it also serves as a perfect exemplar of Hollywood Family Values, along with 2017’s superior Daddy’s Home 2 and 2016’s Why Him?.

    Some jokes are obvious and therefore tinny (a dad laments having to buy “every single Apple product that ever comes out”), but enough work to rescue the entirety.

  9. Direction Good 3.0
  10. Play Good 3.0
  11. Music Good 3.0
  12. Visuals Good 3.0
  13. Content Help-l
  14. Risqué 2.1

    “Marry the first girl you ever messed around with and then be shocked it didn’t work out” is a perfect articulation of Hollywood thinking.

  15. Sex Titillating 2.1
  16. Violence Fierce 1.6
  17. Rudeness Profane 2.7
  18. Glib 1.7
  19. Circumstantial Surreal 2.6
  20. Biological Glib 1.5
  21. Physical Natural 1.0

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