Will Ferrell is the first to take the microphone. He walks into Screen 7 with Mark Wahlberg and Alex Zane. They’re standing nearby and smile as Will addresses the audience at Leicester Square’s Vue cinema.
“TRUMP! TRUMP! TRUMP!” Will chants, pumping his fist.
The audience laughs. Classic, topical Will!
Nobody invited me here today. Certainly not Donald Trump. And certainly not Odeon cinemas. I didn’t even win a ticket beforehand. So, how the hell did I manage to find myself in the presence of two Hollywood stars and a plethora of free bags of Malteasers and Galaxy Minstrels?
Sheer dumb luck.
Now, I’m a sucker for movie premieres. Whether it’s blockbusters like The Hunger Games or the unbelievably idiotic Postman Pat movie, you can bet that I’ll be snooping about somewhere hoping to grab a selfie. My friend doesn’t quite understand why I bother queuing for hours without any guarantee of meeting anyone famous. “You go out to watch people having a better night than you,” he said.
Finally, on Wednesday 9th December 2015, I would watch MYSELF have a better night than myself would have had.
I met Alessia after work at Oxford Circus where we hoped to do a spot of shopping then head to Look Mum No Hands (best coffee shop in London). But, just like how there will never be a Mrs Doubtfire sequel, things don’t always work out how you thought they would.
We detoured to Leicester Square and became one with the crowd around the barriers of the red carpet to Daddy’s Home. Spotlights were piercing the night sky, and ‘Daddy Cool’ was blasting over the loudspeakers.
As we tried to find a spot to sneak into for a potential selfie – or what academics might call a ‘Selfie Spot’ – I clocked a security guy opening a barrier to let people in. I thought they were part of the media. However, like my friends once told me when I said that using hashtags verbally in real life was cool, I thought wrong #IThoughtWrong #WrongThinking #ThinkingFastandWrong. So I nipped to the fella and asked, “Excuse me, my good man! What might one be doing here to this metallic perimeter?” in my head. It actually came out as, “What…Can we…Is this…Mark Wahlberg please?”
“You wanna move to the front pen?” the security guy asked. He turned to another guy on the red carpet. He looked like a Gary.
“Gary!” he called. “Take these to the pen by the doors.”
And like that, Alessia and I were escorted ON THE RED CARPET to the pen right by the entrance to the Vue. There was a handful of people with us and we were hugging the barrier. We had a fantastic view to watch people have a better night than us.
But that wouldn’t last long.
The talent arrived close to 6pm and Alex Zane shouted into the microphone to welcome each one. Will turned up first, then Marky Mark. They made their way around the barriers to sign autographs, take pics and speak to the media. During this time, I was developing hypothermia as guests to the premiere started making their way inside the cinema. Eventually, Mark pointed to our pen to indicate his intention of visiting my hometown of Selfie City. I got my iPhone ready. He came over. The chorus to Joe Cocker’s “Up Where We Belong” began playing in my head for some reason. Maybe Wahlberg has that effect on people. It’s not just me, yeah?
Mark took his time to visit each of us at the barriers and then I grabbed a selfie with my new THUNDER BUDDY.
Annnnd he was gone. And pretty soon Will followed. The premiere was over.
A short man with a hi-vis and round, black-rimmed glasses edged near the two women standing next to me.
“Fancy seeing the film?” he asked. He thrust two tickets their way. Then he came to Alessia and I.
“Fancy seeing th-” YES I WANT TO SEE THE FILM.
We headed inside the cinema and made our way to our seat in Screen 7. This was crazy! The screen was almost full, but that wasn’t the first thing I noticed. Upon entering the room, I clocked the free bags of chocolates and bottles of water at each seat. OH LORDY. Lots of other attendees had glasses of wine – we missed this because we entered late.
Once sat, Alex Zane magically appeared to welcome Will and Mark again. Now, I assumed they’d be watching the movie with us, like one massive Netflix and chill. Instead, they spoke about the film briefly and then left us to enjoy it.
Will: Happy Christmas…Happy Hanukkah…Kwanzaa…Ramadan…Donald Trump.
The audience cracks up.
Will: Anyway, we hope you enjoy the movie. It’s a great, fun, family movie with a lot of laughs. You get to see Mark dance.
Mark: You see Will’s ass.
Will: Some of you may walk out at the point…
Mark: Please don’t walk out.
Daddy’s Home – The Review
It’s incredibly uncommon for me to award a film a perfect ten. In fact, only one has earned that prestigious number, and it rhymes with hisses pout liar. So, did Daddy’s Home become the second film I’d give ten out of ten?
No. Of course not. Don’t be daft.
Daddy’s Home is the second collaboration between Ferrell and Wahlberg. Their last outing was 2010’s The Other Guys, so a reunion has been somewhat overdue. And you know what? It was so good to see the chaps goofing around and chucking out chuckles like they were dollar bills at a strip club.
Ferrell plays Brad, a mild-mannered fella who yearns to be the greatest stepdad to his wife’s children. A Mark Wahlberg shaped spanner is thrown into the works as Dusty – the real father – comes to town. What happens next is a rollicking riot of parent rivalry.
Although the plot is somewhat simple and the ending a wee bit predictable, the movie successfully manages to deliver laughs accessible to both kids and adults. The onscreen chemistry between Ferrell and Wahlberg is effortlessly entertaining, and supporting cast members work incredibly well together to produce genuinely funny moments. Even Bill Burr, whom I adore, managed to get a few ginger-to-ginger giggles from me, despite his time on screen lasting a mere couple of minutes.
My only problem with the movie was the use of slapstick in some parts. It felt out of place. Too cartoonish. It took me out of the flick. But It didn’t take long for me to get back in and simply enjoy the movie for what it was – a comedy that could genuinely make you laugh and wish both Will and Mark were your real dads.