Casa de mi Padre es una gran diversión para los mamíferos
Casa de mi Padre is one of the most delightfully zany comedies to come along in quite some time. Starring Will Ferrell and penned by former “Saturday Night Live” scribe Andrew Steele, this spoof western-actioner is recited predominately in Spanish whilst relying on an endless string of absurd sight gags.
Anyone familiar with Ferrell’s humour website Funny or Die will have an idea of what to expect here, as Casa de mi Padre plays out like an extended skit that would be right at home next to videos like “Don Cheadle is Captain Planet” and “The Landlord”. However, clocking in at less than 90 minutes and bouncing from one gag to another, the film never wears a joke out. As a naïve, dopey Mexican rancher named Armando, a bronzed Ferrell clashes with a local drug lord, Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal) in a plot that exists solely as a vehicle to riff on film-making. With Diego Luna as Armando’s alpha male brother Raul, Genesis Rodriguez as his fiancée Sonia and Nick Offerman representing the United States as a corrupt DEA agent, the supporting cast is a lot of fun and lend a genuine air to this farcical endeavour. The fact that Casa de mi Casa doesn’t feel like a Hollywood film speaks for how well-balanced the cast is. Of course, the intentional sloppiness of the film and Ferrell delivering his lines in Spanish goes a long way toward achieving that effect, as well.
Ferrell fans will almost certainly eat Casa de mi Padre up, but it may also appeal to non-Ferrell converts with a taste for the unusual. Though not entirely lacking in crass humour, the majority of Casa de mi Padre relies on being outright silly, rather than offensive. A perfect example is a stupidly cunning coyote action scene for which words fail to do justice to (literally). Garcia Bernal is a joy to watch as the arrogant kingpin looking out for numero uno. A playful clash between Mexico and the US fuels a subplot, as Ferrell takes to describing Yanks as “shit-eating, crazy monster babies” whilst Offerman is the conduit for the States’ contempt of its southern neighbour. While it may be difficult to read the subtitles whilst keeping an eye out for subtle gags and goofs, there’s consistently something to enjoy as Armando fights to protect his land and Sonia. Though the film is a parody of the genre, what makes it standout is the way it lampoons the actual production of such movies. With a wonderful self-deprecating musical interlude and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop lending a helping hand, Casa de mi Padre is full of bonkers surprises.
While Casa de me Padre won’t be winning any awards, it does a great job of being the loony, ridiculous spoof that it clearly sets out to be. From the opening sequence, Ferrell’s lark offers continual goofiness throughout the film and indeed beyond the end credits. Likely to divide opinion, if any of the above antics sound appealing, it’s worth checking Casa de mi Padre before it attains its likely eventual cult status. 8/10