The Family Plan has a pretty wild setup. We got regular ol’ suburban dad Mark Wahlberg finding out his perfect little family life is about to implode…all because of his previous gig as a super-secret assassin for the government! Whaaaat? You betcha. Now his oh-so-normal wife and kids get whisked away on an action-packed road trip as crazed killers try and take Wahlberg out.
It’s a ride and a half, that’s for sure. Reminds me of flicks like True Lies meets Little Miss Sunshine…if the Hoover family was being chased by the CIA. Kinda kooky, kinda thrilling.
But does this wacky premise really work? Well, that depends. The director and cast sure give it their all – I’ll say that. Big Marky Mark still has the goods as an action hero and a frazzled pop. But the movie tries packing in one too many plots between the comedy, family drama, and spy games. Tones get tangled, plot points fizzle out…by the messy finale, I felt carsick from the tonal whiplash!
So buckle up tight if you take this bumpy ride. Just don’t expect the smoothest journey from start to finish. But hey, points for effort and a game cast, even if the execution’s a bit messy. Now that’s entertainment!
Family Road Trip Goes Off the Rails
Buckle up, cause this plot takes some wild turns! At first, everything seems chill with Dan Morgan (Marky Mark) and his picture-perfect fam. Loving wife Jessica, two normal teens, a new baby…the guy’s living the dream in boring ol’ Buffalo. But lil’ do they know about Dan’s crazy past as a lethal government assassin. Whoops!
This skeleton comes bursting out the closet when some of Dan’s old enemies track him down. And they ain’t playing around – full-on knife fights at the grocery store with poor baby Max strapped to his dad’s chest! Yikes. Dan knows they gotta skedaddle fast before things get ugly. But he can’t bear to tell his fam the truth…so he tricks ’em into a spur-of-the-moment road trip to Vegas instead. Convenient excuse and he can secretly meet up with an old pal to score them all new identities. Win-win?
Not quite! Dan trying to keep his killer past underwraps makes for some serious awkward moments en route. Like his wife Jessica befriending a mysterious hottie (cue ominous music) who joins them on the road. And some gnarly fight scenes erupting whenever the baddies track down Dan…all while his oblivious family watches in shock. Keep it together, man!
The jig is finally up once they reach Sin City. Dan comes clean in dramatic fashion before the family’s confronted by his psycho ex-boss McCaffrey. We get kitchen sinks and baby bottles thrown in an over-the-top casino brawl for the ages. By then, nobody knows what to think anymore. They just wanna get back to boring ol’ Buffalo in one piece!
“Brace yourself for a wild ride with ‘Krazy House’, a film that turns family sitcoms on their head with a splash of gore and dark humor. Dive into our Krazy House Review to join the chaotic world of the Christian family, where nothing is as it seems. Click here to experience this gonzo splatterfest, where Dutch filmmakers Steffen Haars and Flip van der Kuil blend wholesome sitcom tropes with over-the-top carnage in a way you’ve never seen before.”
Cast Tries to Hold it Together
Look, we know Mark Wahlberg can handle action with the best of ’em. Dude’s got Lone Survivor, The Fighter, Shooter…no doubt he still kicks major butt. And he actually makes a pretty solid suburban pop too – bringing some real warmth and humor to loyal hubby Dan. Helps buy into the whole double life schtick. Gotta feel for the guy trying to juggle assassinating baddies while getting baby puke on his polos, y’know?
But even Wahlberg can only do so much to sell this messy premise. And the script keeps piling on the outlandish stunts, while giving his emotional arc short shrift. So Marky Mark’s left stranded without enough character development to anchor all the wackiness. Still, he commits himself fully and shows glimmers of that old charisma…even if this goofy flick fails him in the end.
Oh man, Michelle Monaghan is so good whenever she pops up in supporting roles (who wasn’t obsessed with her in Mission Impossible 3?). She brings real empathy and depth to underwritten wife characters. So just imagine if she actually got some juicy material for once!
Sadly, she draws the shortest straw yet again here. Her character Jessica is less person than plot device – completely oblivious to literally everything while her assassin hubby fights off killers two feet away. Eye-roll city! Monaghan tries her hardest to sell it with sensitivity and charm, but there’s only so much magic one can conjure. She deserved way better than being stuck in wifey limbo land.
The kiddos and baddies fill out their stock roles just fine. The teens bicker about TikTok and colleges in between getting unwittingly pulled into dangerous hijinks. While Dan’s smiling ex-boss and later big bad Ciaran Hinds cranks that villainy knob to 11. He clearly has a blast going full-evil mastermind. Gotta enjoy those scenes for the hammy goodness alone!
Nothing to write home about acting-wise…but solid enough not to distraction further from the messiness. They played their parts as scripted – can’t blame ’em for any shortcomings!
So quality cast tries making magic…but this hokey film stretches ’em too thin. At least they’re still downright watchable despite the circumstances!
Mashed Up Genres Make for A Bumpy Ride
The Family Plan really tries mixing together two tricky genres – raunchy comedy and hard-hitting action. When balancing family laffers with assassins, things can get messy real quick. And oh baby, does this movie veer all over the map tonally!
One minute we get Three’s Company-style hijinks with Dan bumbling to hide some grenades from his wife. Juxtaposed against hardcore beatdowns with his baby strapped to his chest. Then we take a pit stop for some wacky road trip antics…only to swerve right back into tense stand-offs at gunpoint. It’s a rollercoaster, folks!
Some of the comic bits do legit make me chuckle – props for at least some moments of levity. Like Dan’s oblivious wife Jessica yapping about her dull social circle, completely unaware of the insane violence threatening her fam. The contrasts can be pretty hysterical when they land well.
But more often than not, the awkward tonal shifts just induce whiplash. We get schmaltzy family drama as Dan bonds more with his bratty teen daughter…seconds before she witnesses him brutally murder a dude without warning. Oof. Pick a lane, movie!
And don’t even get me started on the ending, which goes full gonzo on the violence to somehow make up for the lack of consistent laughs. Let’s just say dirty diapers and machine guns should probably not mix.
I dig the ambition to mash up madcap comedy with high stakes action. But the execution needed some hard honing to stick that tricky landing. In the end, The Family Plan feels more like an unruly clown car ready to crash any minute. Everybody screaming as the wheels come flying off – hang on and pray no one gets hurt!
Action’s There, But Rarely Exciting
Okay, let’s chat action – The Family Plan sure promises loads of stunts with Big Marky Mark duking it out while protecting his oblivious fam. And we get plenty of fisticuffs, shootouts, and car chases as advertised. But are they actually, y’know…good?
Ehhh, it’s hit or miss. Director Simon Cellan Jones captures the fight scenes well enough – they’re clearly visible and easy to follow beat-by-beat. Nice and coherent compared to choppier action flicks. But they rarely get the blood truly pumping, ya feel me?
Most of the action opts for smaller-scale tussles rather than big budget blowouts. Makes sense given the lower streaming budget. But even the quick grocery store knife fight with baby Max inadvertently caught in the fray should pack more visceral oomph. Instead, it just feels oddly muted.
Don’t get me wrong – Marky Mark still throttles foos with aplomb, even with his new dad bod! It’s just filmed relatively tame compared to his Lone Survivor explosiveness though. And when every clash runs through the same B-grade motions, any intended thrills grow stale awfully fast.
Weirder still, the action scarcely meshes with the family hijinks plot. Dan’s loved ones seem bizarrely chill even as the violence amps up exponentially around them. One gruesome face-off has wifey Jessica just sitting there live-texting the play-by-play while her hubs slashes through assassins. Umm…sure, stay calm I guess?
If this was sold solely as a grittier Liam Neeson Taken deal, the action might satisfy enough. But positioned as the heart of this wacky family comedy leaves things feeling hollow. All punch, no impact.
Muddled Messages Get Lost in the Fray
Now I dig a nice poignant theme layered beneath hijinks as much as anybody. A lil’ emotional payoff rewarding audiences for sticking through the raunch. But hot damn does this movie bungle its half-baked messages something fierce.
There’s glimmers here and glitter there of more meaningful themes. The importance of trust and acceptance in families, even when someone makes deadly goofs. How letting loose and getting wild together can reinvigorate a tired marriage. The emptiness of keeping dark secrets from your loved ones…all that jazz.
And you betcha the homespun suburban setting plays straight into that tension. What happens when a dude perfectly content with his mundane existence gets thrusted into insane danger and secrets? Does the regular family life prevail?
Problem is, nothing gets developed beyond surface level schmaltz before diving right back into another lame comedy set-piece or uninspired action scene. Any substance gets lost in the cacophony of kooky hijinks that never stops.
So maybe there could’ve been insightful themes around family and trust…if literally anyone involved stopped and breathed for longer than 3 seconds. But the chaotic plateau of zaniness drowns out any hint of depth or emotion. You got as much chance finding deeper meaning in a Three Stooges flick.
In the end, we get the same recycled moralizing nuggets as any mediocre action comedy – “family matters most” and “just be yourself.” Spare me the platitudes next time and bring some real heart, why dontcha?
Fun Parts Can’t Save This Messy Ride
Whelp, we made it through this bumpy family action-comedy in one piece! Was it all worth the whiplash though? Ehhh…I’d say Mark Wahlberg fans will get some milage from his dual dad assassin role. Dude still kicks decent butt while cracking wise as suburban pop.
And huge props for at least trying to blend gritty thrills with lighter family fare. We get glimmers of a funky premise in scenes like Dan fending off killers while baby Max giggles obliviously. When the tones gel, it brings some zippy enjoyment.
But more often than not, the pieces clash together awkwardly. The plot piles on three too many wacky subplots and keeps schizophrenically jerking between high stakes showdowns and lowbrow potty humor. And none of the action set pieces prove truly memorable enough to warrant such tonal whiplash.
Could a more coherent vision have saved this kooky idea? I think so. Lean harder into the comedy and make Jessica in on the assassin secret from the jump – maybe mimic an edgier True Lies angle. Or ditch the sitcom laughs and play it straight as a grittier spy thriller version of The Pacifier.
As is though, The Family Plan shoots for the stars but crash lands by wanting to be all things for all people. Jack of all trades, master of none. I say stick to one wacky genre mash-up at a time. This potluck plate left me with heartburn instead of warm-and-fuzzies. Oh well – maybe dial back the chaos for the sequel!
The Family Plan
The Family Plan proves enjoyable in small nibbles, thanks to the ever-eager Marky Mark and some fun flashes of zany action. But the chaotic genre mashup fizzles fast through sloppy editing, scattershot plotting, and bland thematic ambitions. It's definitely no new comedy classic or high-octane thriller for the ages. As far as immortalizing Wahlberg's one-liners or stunt prowess? Approach with lowered expectations and you might have some goofy fun amidst the wreckage!
- Mark Wahlberg is solid with good comedic timing and action capability
- Supporting cast like Michelle Monaghan do their best with the material
- Attempts genre mashup of family comedy and gritty action, which is ambitious
- Has some genuinely amusing comedic moments when the tone hits right
- Inconsistent tone gives bad case of tonal whiplash
- Plot overstuffed with too many wacky subplots
- Action set pieces surprisingly bland and unimpactful
- Thematic depth pretty superficial amidst chaotic story
- Weak storytelling and editing make film feel sloppy