Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Microreview [film]: Casa de mi Padre

The Meat

Casa de mi Padre is satire of/loving homage to Mexican B-movies, starring Will Ferrell,
Gael García BernalRon Swanson, Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite, Diego Luna and Genesis Rodriguez, who I'd imagine is about to become a superstar. Oh, and did I mention that Will Ferrell does the whole thing in Spanish? And not terrible Spanish either. But I digress...

The plot of Casa de mi Padre is standard action/melodrama: brother of hero comes home to the ranch with hot girlfriend, brother turns out to be bad news, hot girlfriend not-so-secretly falls in love with hero, brother gets in trouble with very bad dude who lives nearby, hot girlfriend somehow mixed up in everything, hero has to save the day, hero does save the day. You've seen this movie before, or at least something not too different from it. It may not have come from Mexico, but from India, the United States, Turkey or Indonesia, but trust me--if you've seen B-movies, you know this plot.  

Casa de mi Padre thus is a bit of a one trick pony, and could have been really painful, but thankfully the filmmakers opted not to take a Zucker Brothers gag-a-minute approach. Instead, Ferrell, Bernal, Luna, Rodriguez and the others play it straight, letting the laughs come from the incredibly fake looking sets and props, gratuitous overacting and I-literally-just-cut-the-film-with-a-butter-knife style editing. There are some genuinely funny moments, like this one:

And Offerman/Swanson, playing a corrupt DEA agent who speaks perfect Spanish but with the most cringe-worthy American accent you can imagine, is a certified scene stealer. In the end, though, the film is neither brilliant nor really even aiming for that. Instead, it's a quieter type of spoof film: perfect to catch midway through on a lazy Sunday afternoon, but not exactly something you'd run out and get the Blu-ray special edition of.

The Math

Baseline Assessment: 5/10

Bonuses: +1 for taking the more subtle approach to spoofing; +1 for Nick Offerman, who is awesome; +1 for the rest of the stellar cast, who all look like they were having a blast making this film.

Penalties: -1 for just not being that good, at the end of the day.

Nerd Coefficient: 7/10. "An enjoyable experience, but not without its flaws."

Read about our Pitchfork-inspired, non-inflated grading system here