Blu-Review: Casa de mi Padre

Directed By Matt Piedmont
Starring Will Ferrell, Diego Luna, Genesis Rodriguez, Gael García Bernal, Efren Ramirez and Nick Offerman

When you’re thinking of notable Latino actors to topline a Spanish-language spoof of Mexican telenovelas and B-movie westerns, naturally Will Ferrell’s the first name that springs to mind. Well, not really, but that’s the core gag of Casa De Mi Padre; Ferrell plays a slow-witted, but good-natured Mexican rancher and speaks Spanish for the entire movie. But while Ferrell’s on top form and there’s a handful of laugh-out-loud jokes, it’s a tonally muddled movie that drags far too often.

Armando Alvarez (Ferrell) is a dopey, but earnest ranch-hand living in the shadow of his successful entrepreneur brother Ramon (Diego Luna), forever seeking his father’s approval. When Ramon returns to the family home with a new fiance – the beautiful Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez) – forbidden love blossoms between Armando and his brother’s future wife. But when Ramon’s ties to Mexican drug kingpin come to light, it’s left to Armando to save his family and his love from the villainous cocaine cartel.

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The closest recent comparison to Casa De Mi Padre would probably be Black Dynamite; Padre occasionally shoots for that same level of spoofery, poking fun at the bargain basement budgets of B-movies with riotous gags centred around their cheaper-than-chips production values. But while Black Dynamite went for the full ’70s grindhouse aesthetic, Padre looks far too polished and well acted to really sell the joke. To cut from a shot where toy miniature cars and hand-made cardboard buildings are unconvincingly used in place of actual sets to beautifully shot, crystal-clear HD scenes at mansions with a handful of brand spanking new $100,000 cars parked everywhere spoils the fun, to the point where the film’s low-budget parodying almost feels like an afterthought.

Unfortunate, too, since it’s that grindhouse silliness that provides all of Casa De Mi Padre’s best moments. Between a shoddily-built animatronic white tiger as Armando’s spirit guide, cinema’s most uneventful horse chase clearly shot on stationary rocking horses, an hilariously awkward sex scene that’s 95% bizarre butt-groping, an amazing ‘message from the assistant director’ in place of scenes that were deleted due to a combination of wild cougars, cocaine and the death of several crew members, there’s some great laughs, but they’re a bit too far apart. Everything inbetween shoots for a more straight-faced, high-production-value telenovella angle and plods along at a somewhat dreary pace.

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Still, Ferrell is fantastic, taking to the Spanish language with impressive conviction, his deadpan delivery making the film’s more plodding moments a hell of a lot more enjoyable than they should be. The tone is all over the place and jokes are too few and far between for Casa De Mi Padre to be a classic on par with Anchorman or Black Dynamite, it’s still a fun enough comedy, even if it doesn’t deliver on its lofty potential.

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Unfortunately the UK disc is missing the Will Ferrell/director/writer commentary from the US Blu-ray, leaving a decent, but unspectacular selection of special features:

  • Making Of
  • Pedro Armendariz Jr. Interview
  • Deleted Scenes
  • ‘Fight For Love’ Music Video
  • Fake TV Ads
  • Trailer

The Film:

The Blu-ray:

Casa de mi Padre is out on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK now.
Click here to order the Blu-ray from