R Dir: Lawrence Sher | Warner | 1h 43min
Plot: What’s it about?
In what might’ve been a promising comedy on paper, turns into a real dud staring Owen Wilson and Ed Helms. In fact, I really can’t remember the last time a movie starring Owen Wilson was so downright boring and dull. It has the agreeable R rating, plenty of familiar faces in small supporting roles, but just never takes off like it should. Failing to impress audiences or critics, it came and left theaters last Christmas without much notice at all.
Fraternal twins Peter (Helms) and Kyle Reynolds (Wilson) were told by their mother, Helen Baxter (Glenn Close) that their father died when they were young. They learn, however, that their father did not in fact die, and that their mother was very sexually active many moons ago. This sends them on a quest to try and find who their real father is. Along the way they encounter several potentials. This includes a funny turn from JK Simmons, Christopher Walken and Ving Rhames, to name just a few. Sadly, nothing here registers more than a mild chuckle. Actually if anyone deserves credit it’s Katt Williams as a hitchhiker. This is dead in the middle of the film, but provides some good laughs. Unfortunately it’s only about 10 minutes out of a nearly 2 hour film.
I think the biggest issue here is that the central premise just doesn’t lend itself to serious laughs. Sure the cast is funny and can, in theory, provide serious laughs, but the idea of two twins looking for their father is more of a drama than laugh-out-loud comedy material. It CAN work, I suppose, but the whole time we want the characters to get the answer to their quest rather than laugh at them. I think that’s where the film goes wrong. When the premise itself can only do so much to elicit laughter, it’s hard to squeeze more out of it. I can imagine there will be many who will have just tuned out before the closing credits and hardly care about the outcome itself. That’s where I stood. I just couldn’t bring myself to give a darn after a point.
Video: How’s it look?
Being a new to Blu-ray film, I had my expectations set pretty high. The 2.39:1 AVC HD image epitomizes everything we’ve come to expect from these newer films. A fine sheen to the perfectly framed outdoor shots, all of the actors look amazing, flesh tones are warm, soft and natural. You know the drill. Of course detail is spectacular and Owen Wilson’s blonde hair is on display. Contrast is strong and solid and save for a few minor blips here and there, it’s a fine-looking transfer.
Audio: How’s it sound?
By and large, comedies aren’t that heavy on the audio and though this DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack has a few moments of glory, it’s a pretty straight-forward effort. There are a few moments where the front stage makes its presence known, but by and large surrounds offer a bit of resonance, but this is a front heavy affair that’s not going to blow the roof off the place, but it won’t disappoint either.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Deleted Scenes – Some 21 minutes of deleted scenes are included, though they’re not listed and/or labeled and have no commentary for context. Some gave me a little chuckle, but I suppose all things considered – it’s best these were on the cutting room floor. There are 11 chapters, so I take it there are 11 of them total?
- Gag Reel – I would assume by now we all know what a gag reel is. This does not deviate from what all the others are.
The Bottom Line
Dull, unfunny and meandering, Father Figures never takes off and just kind of sits there. The cast is certainly talented, but the premise itself is more depressing than amusing, and the script does nothing to help matters. We all deserve better, including the cast. Skip it.