‘Father Figures’ Evaluation: A Tone-deaf Borderline Hostage Scenario

“Father Figures” is a film, sure. However it will be extra correct to explain the listless, low-energy and profoundly unentertaining expertise as an almost two-hour borderline hostage scenario.

The protagonists are fraternal twins Peter (Ed Helms) and Kyle (Owen Wilson). Peter is a divorced physician, with a child who hates him, and a private life that consists predominantly of “Regulation & Order: Particular Victims Unit” reruns. He’s deeply envious of Kyle, a seaside bum who’s made tens of millions licensing his likeness to a barbecue sauce firm.

On the marriage ceremony of their mom, Helen (Glenn Shut), Peter, desperately sad with the banality of his comfortable upper-middle class life, self-soothes with an episode of “SVU,” when he turns into satisfied one of many actors is their long-lost father. He’s not, but it surely triggers a spherical of questioning about his parentage, which units the brothers on a cross-country street journey.

First, they head to Miami to seek out soccer star Terry Bradshaw, the identify Helen initially throws out. But it surely quickly turns into a wild goose chase up the Japanese seaboard dubbed “Operation Who’s Your Daddy,” because the bros dig up Helen’s exes from the final days of disco.

Cinematographer Lawrence Sher makes his directorial debut with the movie, which is about as charming as a flaccid noodle. Awkward bits of brotherly rivalry or ribaldry go on for much, far, painfully too lengthy, and the entire power is surprisingly subdued and muted. All momentum is sapped from the movie, which requires excessive quantities of endurance to endure.

However, the true offense comes from the blinkered and utterly tone deaf script by Justin Malen. That it’s offensive and never humorous and is mindless could be unhealthy sufficient, however there’s a virulent pressure of sexism, too. Each girl the brothers encounter is evaluated for his or her sexual potential, not anything. Their very own mom, performed the legendary Shut, is decreased to a operating joke that includes the exes repeatedly describing her sexual abilities of their mom.

Tack on a wildly misguided and completely random scene the place the brothers decide up a hitchhiker, performed by Katt Williams, and issues go from unhealthy to worse. Uptight Peter worries concerning the security of choosing up a stranger and insists he isn’t suspicious as a result of the potential rider is black, so Kyle calls for to know if he is a serial killer. They provide him a trip — tied up with leap ropes within the backseat. The brothers then bicker over what number of ladies they every attached with in highschool and the way a lot cash they make. How may anybody concerned on this venture probably suppose this was a good suggestion?

There’s a whole sub-genre of movies now the place Helms is the vessel for expressing a collective white male nervousness about masculinity, however performed for laughs, as a result of why face points head on? These tales need to be advised, however not on the expense of others.

The restricted, privileged worldview of “Father Figures,” which is laced with a cutesy, insidious streak of sexism, homophobia and racism makes for a bromantic comedy that illustrates how exclusion will likely be Hollywood’s downfall.

(c) 2017 Tribune Content material Company, LLC

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