The House trailer:
There was a time when anything Will Ferrell even cameoed in would turn to gold. From modern classics like Elf and Anchorman to laugh out loud moments in Step Brothers and The Other Guys, Ferrell’s comic timing and ability to make people laugh with only a few actions has transformed him into one of the successful comedy actors of all time.
The last few years haven’t been kind to Ferrell, however. Anchorman 2 didn’t quite live up to the original, Get Hard just wasn’t that funny, Zoolander 2 was a mess and another pointless remake and the recent Daddy’s Home has a rating of 31% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Ferrell’s character more annoying than funny compared to the pretty funny Mark Wahlberg. This downward spiral hasn’t just been limited one or two films either, with Ferrell really struggling to star in a movie that isn’t just a nostalgic reboot or tired concept with typecast characters.
The star of the film, Will Ferrell
The House was supposed to be the film that would see Ferrell back at his best, alongside the naturally hilarious Amy Poehler and directed by Bad Neighbours scriptwriter Andrew J. Cohen in his directorial debut. Although the ingredients for the movie seemed strong, the film was yet another Ferrell flop, with a shocking 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It also failed to make any money, making only $34.2 million worldwide against a budget of $40 million.
Many people didn’t enjoy the film
The premise seems interesting at first, with a cash strapped family struggling to find enough money for their daughter’s college tuition fees. After speaking with a friend, Ferrell’s character is convinced to open an illegal underground casino to make enough money to pay the bill within a month. Although there are some genuinely funny moments, such as the UFC style fight-night that sees two family friends beating the hell out of each other and the appearance of Jeremy Renner as a mobster who meets a particularly slapstick fate when he tries to take the illegal casino’s earnings.
Jeremy Renner starred, but despite the big Hollywood names, the talent just didn’t translate
The rest of the movies gags and plot is pretty contrived and can be seen coming from a mile off. The whole ‘comedy actors who were successful years ago and are now parents’ thing is becoming a bit stale and there’s too many weird and wacky characters to make anything believable. Everyone seems over the top and the homages to other casino movies aren’t executed that well, with the film becoming too reliant on parodies of films like Martin Scorcese’s Casino.
The ease at which they are able to set up a functioning illegal casino so quickly and fill it with people is also a bit too much to handle. Yes, it’s a comedy film so things are supposed to be unrealistic, but making hundreds of thousands of dollars in the first month is a far reach even for a legal casino with a marketing budget. The film’s ‘DIY’ attitude to casino gaming may have fans wanting to set up their own to make some quick money, but the reality is so different to what actually happens in the movie. Both land-based casinos and online casinos must adhere to rigorous regulations including responsible gambling procedures, age restrictions and of course fully open and tested virtual machines that generate completely random outcomes. The best online casinos gain trust from their customers through following the strict guidelines, a good example of such a casino might be 888casino with their famous responsible gaming tools and procedures.
All of this must happen before any money can be made, making the concept of an illegal casino in suburbia seem utterly absurd.
Another disgruntled viewer
The film’s subject matter may be daft and the supporting actors all look like they’re trying to be funny all of the time, but it’s Ferrell’s lack of impact that is most worrying. He should be able to rescue films like this, not just contributing to the forced laughs, and it’s a shame that other highly talented comedians like Nick Kroll, Jason Mantzoukas and Amy Poehler are kind of wasted with wit replaced by idiocy and gross-out jokes that make The House such a bomb. We sincerely hope Daddy’s Home 2 isn’t going to push Ferrell’s career further off course and hopefully someone can write a movie that will get him back on form sooner rather than later.
The House is the latest movie starring Will Ferrell that fails to live up to the hype. Despite a stellar cast and a handsome budget, The House has been a box-office flop and received unanimous negative reviews from the critics.