A part of me told me not to review “The House,” but another part of me has been begging me to review for the sake of principle. I had to give in, and as much as I like the Crown and the M.O.B. soundtrack (“Love my People” and “We Just Came to Party”), I hated the movie.
Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler star as two parents who can’t afford to send their daughter (Ryan Simpkins) off to college, because the town councilman (Nick Kroll) won’t give them the tuition in order to buy an expensive community pool. They’re so determined to give her the education she deserves, that they decide to open an illegal casino in their soon-to-be-divorced friend’s (Jason Mantzoukas) house.
It’s just one bad scene after another with such fine talents. Ferrell has obviously flunked math (40 + 20 =90). Poehler was wonderful in “Parks and Recreation” and “Inside Out,” but she doesn’t deliver a single funny moment here. Simpkins may have been in “Revolutionary Road,” but she couldn’t act here; almost every supporting character is either vulgar or angry, and that’s why we have an ugly women fight. And Kroll, Allison Tolman, and Rub Huebel show off very bad acting.
And get this: Jeremy Renner has an awful cameo as a mobster, who gets his arm chopped off and then caught on fire. This is not the Renner we loved in “The Avengers,” “American Hustle,” “Arrival,” “Wind River,” “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” or “The Hurt Locker.”
As I said in my review of “The Boss,” these are big stars in wasted roles. And who said it would be funny for Ferrell, Poehler, and Mantzoukas to attack people for the money they owe them?
This is the directorial debut of Andrew Jay Cohen, who wrote the hilarious screenplay for “Neighbors.” But ever since that movie, he hasn’t come up with anymore funny scripts, and “The House” is no different. “The Wolf of Wall Street” may have ran for 3 hours, but it was a masterpiece; this was less than half as short, and according to have I have seen, it deserved to be.
I thought “Fist Fight,” “Baywatch,” and “Rough Night” were bad R-rated comedies this year, and they are, but “The House” is a comedy dead zone.
☠️ Poison for the Mind (0/4)