2017 in Cinema:
The House, 2017
Directed by: Andrew Jay Cohen
Starring: Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Jeremy Renner
After the town’s scholarship programme ends, Scott (Will Ferrell, Daddy’s Home 2) and Kate (Amy Poehler) are facing the harsh reality of not being able to fund their daughter, Alex’s (Ryan Simpkins), college tuition. Afraid to confess the truth and face upsetting her, though, they, along with their friend, Frank (Jason Mantzoukas), set up Frank’s house as a makeshift casino in order to raise $500,000 (half for Alex’s tuition, half for Frank’s house). As a plot, and how it unfolds with Bob Schaeffer’s (Nick Kroll) constant interference, it’s pretty basic and lacklustre. A few partly-funny comedic turns (such as Scott becoming ‘the butcher’, after severing a man’s finger) but otherwise uneventful in terms of surprises and shocks.
The acting in the film, due to its nature, is also not brilliant. Ferrell and Poehler’s on-screen combination is basic at best, with only performances from Renner, The Hurt Locker, in his brief moment, and Mantzoukas considered fairly okay. It didn’t help their acting that the characters were mostly poorly written and the scrip was fairly basic. Scott and Kate are two immature adults, who surprisingly own a sizeable home despite never mentioning their jobs (aside from their brief scene of asking for a raise), and their jobs do not seem to come into effect when they’re spending every night running this casino, and most days chasing up missing payments and attending council meetings. No back story was really established nor any character traits (other than Scott’s fear of numbers) and even the tone of Frank’s recently-ended marriage isn’t presented very well.
The presentation of the film was quite decent; with the house-casino coming across as incredibly flashy (as you’d expect with Las Vegas being their inspiration), even if it made no sense how Frank is having his house taken away from him yet can set up a casino on a whim. And the visual effects of the violent scenes, while done to a comedic standard, are also not terrible. Overall The House is a mildly funny comedy, with a silly premise and nothing really substantial throughout. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, nor should it be taken seriously.
Plot: * * Acting: * * Writing: * * Presentation: * * *