I never thought a Will Ferrell comedy would get this weird.
But I like weird, so when "Casa de mi Padre" goes all in and becomes a low budget mind*$*#, I found myself smiling. A lot.
But there will be SO many people who don't, and that's fine, too. The Spanish language farce won't be for everybody. It's clear that the team of Ferrell, producer Adam McKay and first time director Matt Piedmont have an affection for low budget Mexican romance western stuff. Wait....does that even exist?
I spent a good portion of this movie trying to figure out what they were parodying, exactly. The movie goes to such low-budget absurdity, even stopping the film at one point to give an apology note from the phony director. It almost feels like a parody of low-budget parodies.
Ferrell plays Armando Alvarez. He's a Mexican rancher so proud of his family name, he constantly lets it roll off of his tongue with gravitas. His much-more-loved brother, an obvious drug dealer, arrives at home to the joy of his outspoken father. The Prodigal Son returns and the family is complete.
There is a woman, too. She's torn between two brothers, one who loves the drug business, the other who loves the land. Gael Garcia Bernal has plenty of fun as a drug kingpin. There are so many overdramatic deaths and so, so much borderline racism.
But the movie is so ridiculous it kind of works. Armando Alvarez fits in nicely on the shelf of Ferrell characters, but even clocking in under 90 minutes, the film feels a bit long. If the low-budget farce was such an interest, why not put together a "Grindhouse" of comedy? Three or four shorts that run 20-30 minutes each?
I know, that's been done, and without much financial success. But so has pretty much everything in this movie. Mas o menos.
"Casa de mi Padre" is definitely worth a look, but I wouldn't rush out to a theater to see it. It earns a Leshock Value of $6 out of a possible $10.