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Monday, July 3, 2017

The House 2017 * * Stars

The HouseDirector: Andrew J. Cohen
Year: 2017
Rated R
Rating: * * Stars
Cast: Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Jason Mantzoukas

Scott and Kate Johansen (played by Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler) are proud parents who find out that their daughter is going to Bucknell University. The only problem is that said daughter's scholarship fell through and the Johansen family doesn't have any money to begin with. Their solution is to open up an illegal casino at a nearby neighbor's house. This will help pay for tuition because hey, Bucknell costs about forty-eight thousand a year (I looked it up just to be sure).

That's the gist of The House, my latest review. It hastily stars Will Ferrell, the Dow Jones of comedic actors. His movies fluctuate between good, fair, and awful. "House", with its badly marketed summer release, its pasted together feel, and its wonted R rating, barely steers clear of that "awful" category.

Image result for the house 2017 movie scenesDistributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and featuring slow-motion clips accompanied by rap music, The House is truly the be-all-end-all of manufactured comedies. At a running time of eighty-eight minutes, it only has enough material for maybe a half hour skit. A lot of "House" is filler. The screenwriters do everything to get a laugh but they forget that a full-length story actually matters.

Anyway, characters in The House are ones that don't act like real-life people. They are overly idiotic, over the top rash, and over the top in their stupid funny antics. They exist in their own world, a world detached from forgone reality. With "House" being on intrigue autopilot most of the way, Poehler and Ferrell take center stage in this stupidity (Ferrell's Scott can't add numbers and misconstrues the meaning of a 401 (k)). They relentlessly strut their stuff and basically play themselves. Amy and Will act a fool, act goofy, and lack a reasonable moral center. Their Scott and Kate should probably be committed as opposed to being let loose in society.

Image result for the house 2017 movie scenesAll in all, The House does have moments that will make you chuckle. However, it's a hard movie for me to recommend and an even harder movie for an audience member to appreciate. In "House" (ha ha), Ferrell (nicknamed "The Butcher") gets fake blood relentlessly squirted at his face, Jeremy Renner is featured in an all-too-brief cameo as a mobster (and he gets burned to death, ouch), and co-star Ryan Simpkins appears like a deadpan of early Taylor Swift. There's also unnecessary outtakes at the end credits (come on, not again), a couple of brutal scenes involving underground fighting, and lots of improvisation by the troupers with script supervision optional. Bottom line: There's that old saying, "the house always wins". Well, the movie The House doesn't quite break even. Rating: 2 stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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