What a strange concept for a movie. It’s funny in parts, but I have no idea which audience this movie was intended for.
“Casa de Mi Padre” is the same sort of homage that Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez put together in “Grindhouse” a few years back. “Casa” is a tribute to/satire of the exploitive Spanish-language movies from the 1970s.
The dialogue is almost completely in Spanish and the show has subtitles throughout. It features some of the finest Spanish-speaking performers around, with Will Ferrell in the starring role as a kind of well-meaning dunderhead, the sort of part he has played before.
The movie takes place in Mexico and in kind of a time warp, at least so much as the costumes, telephones and music are concerned. The vehicles are newer models, which creates a strange kind of tone. Ferrell is Armando Alvarez, whose father constantly ridicules him. (Dad is played by Pedro Armendariz Jr., a veteran star you may recognize from “Once Upon a Time in Mexico.”)
One day Armando sees a murder orchestrated by local drug dealer Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal, “The Motorcycle Diaries”). While he reports it to his father, the family patriarch is happy when his other son, Raul (Diego Luna, “Contraband”) arrives home with a gorgeous girlfriend, Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez, “Man on a Ledge”). Raul certainly will be able to solve the Onza problem, the father thinks.
Armando suspects that Sonia is not what she seems to be. In fact, he suspects she is a gold digger. But the two are attracted to each other even though they bicker right from the start.
Because so many of the movies this spoofs were low-budget imports, you’ll see cheap “effects” all around, from an animatronic cat to obviously fake “outdoor” settings. Some of these are pretty funny and over the top. For example, there’s a written apology for an action sequence that didn’t go as planned.
The screenplay was written by “Saturday Night Live” writer Andrew Steele. The jokes are hit and miss, but the funny ones might make you laugh out loud. Throughout, Ferrell gives it his all, speaking Spanish well and delivering his lines with the scenery-chewing gusto that’s required.
The movie isn’t quite unique because of the Tarantino/Rodriguez project, which was masterfully done. It certainly doesn’t fit the mold of most movies, but it really wasn’t worth the effort involved.
Eso es demasiado malo.