Movie News

The Kidd Vs. CASA DE MI PADRE

Published at: March 14, 2012, 1:04 p.m. CST by The Kidd

Had CASA DE MI PADRE embraced the idea of a Caucasian actor butchering and fumbling through the Spanish language while being surrounded by an all-Latino cast, it might have had something to pull humor from. However, without relying on such an obvious crutch, there’s not much else in Will Ferrell’s new “comedy” to really provide any genuine laughs.

CASA attempts to parody telenovelas and poorly made Spanish movies, but, when your presentation isn’t that much different from the originals, it’s becomes far less of a spoof and much more of a knock-off than anything else. There’s plenty of melodrama on display and definitely a visual style that emphatically states “low budget,” but it never goes above and beyond what we’ve seen from the source material being copied. Furthermore, there’s no tongue in the cheek of the film to indicate that there’s any joke to be in on. The performances are all very straight-laced and serious, so even the slightest hints at anything humorous fall flat, because they feel as if they have no place in a movie like this.

The story is as basic as they come, and is always played straight. Ferrell plays Armando Alvarez, the dumber of two brothers, who’s lived his entire life working as a rancher for his father. When the family’s property comes upon some hard financial times, Armando doesn’t have the money or the intellect to come to the rescue. Enter his smarter and more handsome brother Raul (played by Diego Luna). He has the means to make the money problems go away, because he’s taken the easy way out and become a drug dealer. Unfortunately, he’s now encroaching on the territory of the mighty Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal), drug dealer extraordinaire, and you know this can’t possibly end well, because when has there ever been enough room in the same town for two big-time drug dealers? That provides the opportunity for Armando to ride in and possibly be the hero for once, saving his family along with the woman he’s recently fallen in love with (Genesis Rodriguez).

However, the film gets bogged down in its own seriousness, dragging for long periods of time through the uninteresting and rather derivative plot. It probably would have helped to have some comedic elements to lighten the tone at times, but CASA DE MI PADRE never takes advantage of any moment to play for laughs. There are no jokes or punch lines to be had via dialogue, so where could the comedy in this comedy possibly lie?

CASA tries to do most of its damage through continuity errors and sight gags that point out just how cheap the whole concept looks. Is that a poorly costumed extra in the background posing as a waiter? Nope, it’s actually a mannequin. Did they really use a model complete with Matchbox cars as the exterior shot of a city street instead of actually using footage of a city street? You bet. Am I really seeing the entire crew reflected in that close-up of someone’s mirror sunglasses? That’s correct. There’s not nearly as much mileage to be had from the “mistakes” or the frugality as the film wishes. Director Matt Piedmont tries to squeeze just about all of the film’s amusement from those areas, but you can’t fill 84 minutes of a flick with just that. The same style of joke quickly becomes stale after a few minutes once they’ve already gone to the well for the third or fourth time.  In the background or off in the corner of the screen is no place for the action to happen. It takes away from what is actually happening in the forefront with your eyes now occupied looking everywhere but where they’re supposed to, almost like “Where’s Waldo?” studying the frame to find some new “error” to catch, rendering you uninterested in the characters and their story.

Watching CASA DE MI PADRE isn’t fun at all. In fact, it can be quite the dull affair, as you wait for something to happen or anyone to do something comical. However, when I found myself most entertained by the film, it was several days later at home. I began recalling some of the more bizarre moments of the flick and couldn’t help laughing over some of its absurdity. There’s a white tiger that epitomizes how strange the movie gets, and remembering how ridiculous it was in the context of the film had me cracking up. It wasn’t that it took me several days to get it. There’s nothing to get about CASA DE MI PADRE. It simply took me some time – a few day’s worth – to find anything worthwhile about the film. It would have helped for that to have happened while I was watching the movie, but, to its detriment, that’s not how CASA DE MI PADRE plays. There’s no joy to be had from watching CASA DE MI PADRE in the moment, as it’s not very entertaining on the spot. However, if you have the patience to wait a few days to look back and chuckle over some of its more preposterous elements, then you might get your money’s worth… within a week. I prefer more instant gratification though from my comedy. 

 

-Billy Donnelly

"The Infamous Billy The Kidd"

BillyTheKidd@aintitcool.com

Follow me on Twitter.

Readers Talkback

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  • March 14, 2012, 1:06 p.m. CST

    FIRST!!

    by ATARI

  • March 14, 2012, 1:17 p.m. CST

    really?!!!

    by a boy and his blog

    I'm trapped in a glass case of emotion!

  • March 14, 2012, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Will didn't even want to do this...

    by Mr Soze

  • March 14, 2012, 1:20 p.m. CST

    That was the long way of saying 'not for me'

    by torontoxic

    That review was based entirely on personal taste. It did not convince me this is not worth seeing or very much worth seeing. <P> I like Will Ferrell so I'm still going to give it a shot.

  • March 14, 2012, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Nice Picture Billy

    by a boy and his blog

    Make sure you get my 3 earrings and pony tail so that everyone knows how cool and tough i am........MOM! Can we get some friggin' meatloaf in here!!

  • March 14, 2012, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Not a surprise - DUD

    by DARKJEDI

    Will Ferrell is and has always been wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy overrated

  • March 14, 2012, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Ferrell still has plenty of goodwill in my book

    by I_Snake_Plissken

    Anchorman and Talladega Nights still offsets all of the Blades of Glory etc. I would really like to see Ferrell take another shot at something more serious - Stranger Than Fiction was quite good.

  • March 14, 2012, 1:29 p.m. CST

    The Harry Animation

    by donkey_lasher

    WFT AICN? From Beyond?

  • March 14, 2012, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Anchorman

    by Darthmazda

    The Kidd didn't like Anchorman so i don't trust his review. Its probably his best movie ever then.

  • March 14, 2012, 1:41 p.m. CST

    i_snake go check out Everything Must Go

    by BilboRing

    Very good movie and quite serious too.

  • March 14, 2012, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Sounds like an extended Benny Hill sketch

    by Joe Plumber

    Jump cuts and continuity errors. Pass.

  • March 14, 2012, 1:50 p.m. CST

    @darthmazda

    by The Infamous Billy The Kidd

    Good luck with that.

  • March 14, 2012, 2:13 p.m. CST

    still might check it out

    by HASBEER_WILLCHEET

    i thought anchorman was pretty lame on first viewing, then it grew to be one of my favorite comedies ever, liked elf, liked step brothers alot as well, mostly because when it goes bat shit crazy about halfway through (after playing it mostly straight for the first half) it just worked with the concept for some reason. although will ferrels a bit on and off with me, makes a really funny movie, followed by duds. the other guys bored me to tears aside from a few fun bits, blades of glory and semi pro were terrible, kicking and screaming was like a nickelodeon movie, land of the lost and bewitched were terrible TERRIBLE remakes.

  • March 14, 2012, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Actually, the 'fro ponytail is never a good look

    by Joe Plumber

    but 3 ear rings, on one ear even, is très cool!

  • March 14, 2012, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Nunca confíe en a un hombre que use las pulseras

    by MooseMalloy

    -- Never trust a man who wears bracelets.

  • March 14, 2012, 2:32 p.m. CST

    i'm an asshole-ee-oo-le-ooooo

    by a boy and his blog

    just takin' the piss outta the new guy is all.

  • March 14, 2012, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Thanks Kidd

    by IAmTommyWiseau

    Not only for this review which has confirmed what I thought about this movie but also for seemingly keeping this entire site going. If it wasn't for you, we'd have had maybe three or four articles this week!

  • March 14, 2012, 2:52 p.m. CST

    without relying on such an obvious crutch

    by Pete Michaelson

    So, wait, they SHOULD have relied on an obvious crutch so that the humor was less subversive and more...Sandler-ish for you? I guess without in-your-face, hand superglued to your dick-type humor, movies can't be funny anymore. Ever seen Dr. Strangelove, kid? Er, I mean, Kidd?

  • March 14, 2012, 2:59 p.m. CST

    @gideonthedane

    by The Infamous Billy The Kidd

    Without the crutch, they have nothing. They passed on the obvious and had nothing in its place.

  • March 14, 2012, 3 p.m. CST

    @iamtommywiseau

    by The Infamous Billy The Kidd

    That's what we were brought here to do... provide some steady content along the way. Just doing our part, for better or for worse.

  • March 14, 2012, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Perhaps reviewers should should have a little rating key on the side.

    by Tikidonkeypunch

    They can put the rating they gave to Will Ferrells other outings. Such as Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and Step Brothers. That way we can determine whether the guy/gal giving the review is spot on or is just some douche that hates all things Ferrell.

  • March 14, 2012, 3:16 p.m. CST

    SIN CITY 2 to shoot this summer!

    by MooseMalloy

  • March 14, 2012, 3:25 p.m. CST

    tikidonkeypunch ...Sarcasm?

    by a boy and his blog

    Not sure if you are sarcastic or not, but i do like that idea. I base how seriously i take one mans opinion on how much i agree with their other opinions. Hence, the kidd hates Anchorman and Casa, means i will probably like it. Ron Burgundy: Boy, that escalated quickly… I mean, that really got out of hand fast. Champ Kind: It jumped up a notch. Ron Burgundy:It did, didn’t it? Brick Tamland: Yeah, I stabbed a man in the heart. Ron Burgundy: I saw that. Brick killed a guy. Did you throw a trident? Brick Tamland: Yeah, there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident. Ron Burgundy: Brick, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that. You should find yourself a safehouse or a relative close by. Lay low for a while, because you’re probably wanted for murder.

  • March 14, 2012, 3:27 p.m. CST

    HMM..

    by TheAwareness

    The producers were probably so worried about seeming racist by casting ferril in a part made for a Mexican(which i thought was the entire point/joke), that they ruined the tone they were trying achieve being hamstrung by pointless sensitivity issues my guess

  • March 14, 2012, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Trying to achive by being hamstrung by pointless sensitivity issues

    by TheAwareness

  • March 14, 2012, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Live-action TMNT reboot scheduled for Christmas 2013!

    by MooseMalloy

    I'm getting this news from CBR by the way.

  • March 14, 2012, 3:43 p.m. CST

    billythekidd

    by IAmTommyWiseau

    You're doing well in my book (well, apart from not getting Anchorman - but comedy is always subjective) and congrats on having a thick skin. If you can survive the AICN talkbackers, you can survive pretty much anywhere on the net. Except 4chan.

  • March 14, 2012, 3:46 p.m. CST

    I get the "vs." thing now...

    by Itchypanda

    You don't like any of your opponents. We get it.

  • March 14, 2012, 3:53 p.m. CST

    This is really just a "Funny or Die Presents" movie

    by captaincosmos

    That's where Matt Piedmont comes from. I like the HBO "Funny or Die" show, but the thing is, even when it's wildly uneven (which it usually is), they are all short bits. If you aren't digging the one you're watching, give it 5 minutes and see if the next short hits your funny bone. They can experiment and take chances on that show because of the short-segment format. Reading the interview with Will Ferrell on the site the other day, I couldn't help but think, "It seems like they think this whole premise is much funnier than most paying audiences will." Personally, I tend to enjoy Ferrell most when he's lending support, like in Old School, as opposed to carrying the entire film.

  • If not, one of y'all haters should start one. But for real, Billy, someone needs to work on that drawing. It's terrible. A bad combo of 3 or 4 styles and unfinished-looking.

  • March 14, 2012, 4:27 p.m. CST

    I now assume this is a work of absurdist genius.

    by FluffyUnbound

    Based on BTK saying he didn't know what the jokes were.

  • March 14, 2012, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Conando did it first...

    by Kirbymanly

    I would rather watch a 2 hour version of "Conando" than this shit.

  • He was so great in that movie.

  • March 14, 2012, 10:42 p.m. CST

    Technically...

    by Zappatude

    all of Will's movies are the type that can take a bit to get (and yes, you didn't 'get it' if it wasn't funny until later). That's the underlying theme of all of them. So far, BTK seems to be one of those cats that simply wants to be 'cool'. Not buying into his lack of taste or style. To top it off, if you don't like Anchorman, you should never try to review a Ferrell movie. You either 'get it', or you don't. You don't. And that's totally cool...everyone's got their thing.

  • March 15, 2012, 2:12 a.m. CST

    The KidD vs John Carter

    by MediaGold

    Oh, how I'd love to see that pretenious pony-tailed, goateed, square-rimmed glasses/multiple earring wearing head stuck on a Thark shit smeared Barsoomic pike... but I guess that won't happen in the sequel that will never be thanks to talentless douchebags such as little Billy here. Now don't get your bowling shirt all in a tizzy, I'm just kiDDing. Actually, I'm not. You suckk.

  • March 15, 2012, 2:21 a.m. CST

    Billy the Crudd

    by firstxavenger

    Is the reason I haven't been on AICN in so long.

  • March 15, 2012, 4:03 a.m. CST

    Can't wait to see it.

    by SpaghettiWall

    AICN reviews are like this 1. If they really like it, it's stupid and they were paid to like it. 2. If they think it's okay, it probably is. 3. If they hate it, it's awesome.

  • March 15, 2012, 8:40 a.m. CST

    your review scares me with how badly the humor went over your head

    by freak2thec0re

    it seriously does read like you'd have preferred an Adam Sandler-type comedy the entire joke was that ferrell was going to make a completely "serious" movie just entirely in Spanish. It's on an Andy Kaufman level of dedication ... wait, you probably don't get him either

  • March 15, 2012, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Trolling is ruining AICN

    by marineboy

    Just seems full of rancid bitter bitches these days who think they can aaaalll make a better movie than James Cameron. This culture has to stop, it's actually making the internet a hostile and negative place. Say something constructive if you can, but please stop accusing people of being plants etc or making personal attacks. Dont' say stuff behind a keyboard you wouldn't do face to face.

  • March 15, 2012, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Can't say I'm surprised. Ferrell is more miss than hit now

    by OutsideChance

    He obviously cares more about his "drama" roles at this point and, hey, if he wants to try and be the next Tom Hanks, more power to him. Though, while he's certainly a serviceable actor in the right role, I don't think he's got Hanks' talent.

  • March 15, 2012, 12:12 p.m. CST

    this movie is NOT for you

    by El Cimarron

    ok... so there is a problem. this movie is actually for spanish speaking people. we (yes, we) find it hilarious because, not only is it making fun of the telenovelas and bad mexican movies... but to cast wil ferrell, speaking VERY BAD SPANISH and pretending no one notices is struck of genius. and the fact is played 100% serious? i was in tears. very funny comedy and can't wait to watch it again

  • March 15, 2012, 12:14 p.m. CST

    @marineboy

    by TheMachinist

    I've only been around here for a couple months, and it's already become pretty obvious that that's how things work around here. Don't get me wrong, I hate it as much as you do, but the internet is like that.

  • March 15, 2012, 12:46 p.m. CST

    @el cimarron

    by The Infamous Billy The Kidd

    I agree with you on the Hispanic audience, who is more likely to get the humor of the delivery. However, as an English speaker, I can only relate how the film affected me...

  • March 15, 2012, 1:13 p.m. CST

    YEah Donkey Lasher. That's From Beyond

    by D.Vader

    That image of a tentacle coming out of a man's head has haunted me since I was a kid. Never found out what it was until last year.

  • Sept. 10, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Loved this movie!!

    by BilboRing

    Rented it this wekeend and could not stop laughing. Seriously funny movie.