Casa Di Me Padre (15)
Matt Piedmont, 84mins. Starring: Will Ferrell, Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna
Will Ferrell displays admirable gumption by performing in Spanish in this Mel Brooks-style spoof of grainy old Mexican B-westerns. It's just a pity that the film itself isn't a little funnier.
Ferrell plays Armando Álvarez, a handsome but seemingly very dim-witted cowboy who shows his heroic side in the final reel. As ever, Ferrell's trick is to play it very straight, regardless of the frequently absurd situations in which he finds himself. He enunciates his lines with pedantic clarity, as if he's in an educational video for foreign students who want to learn Spanish.
Business partners and regular collaborators Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna enjoy themselves in pantomime-style roles. Bernal is a drug baron with a hyena-like laugh while Luna is Armando's handsome but very dissolute brother – a sleazy charmer who never loses his poise even as the bullets whistle round him.
The director throws in occasional impressive visual flourishes, among them a Peckinpah-style massacre at a wedding that is so ferociously violent it risks undercutting the comic mood. Unfortunately, neither the slapstick nor the dialogue have any spice or spark about them at all.
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 This is what happens when you tattoo Charmander on yourself, drunk, and with no experience
- 2 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a white stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'