If you’re wanting some un-engaging, frivolous yet harmlessly well-intended fun, you’ve come to the right place. If you’ve come to learn how to win your kids/step-kids/loved ones back, you’ve definitely not.
Mark Wahlberg is once again impressive as the aloof, passive-aggressive petrol-head – so much so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him relinquish his dramatic output in favour of more light-hearted fare. Will Ferrell, however much a pioneer of this bro-mantic humour over the last decade or more, feels a little stale and over-done. It’s fair to say you’d like to see him spread his wings and not simply play it so safe with his material, i.e. emotional, embarrassing and loud.
Examining the plot would be a waste of time – the story is irrelevant and the filmmakers make it quite clear from the outset there is nothing to learn here. Sit back, relax and tune out; don’t worry they’ll tell you when to laugh.
It’s more a pleasantly arranged set of ridiculous chest-beating anecdotes and silly muscle-flexing tom-foolery. There are some truly stomach-achingly funny moments that do make you feel as though you haven’t completely wasted your time. But they are maybe too few and far between to not leave you feeling somewhat short-changed.