Will Ferrell continues to find scripts in places that others might never imagine, like the tale of parents who lose their daughter’s scholarship and begin to create an underground casino to earn it back. With slapstick action and violence, Ferrell’s collusion with Amy Poehler leads to a wild look at the suburban life of empty nesters.
Scott and Kate Johansen (Ferrell and Poehler) adore their daughter (Ryan Simpkins)… maybe too much. When she sets her eyes on Bucknell, they’re sure that the city scholarship will pay for her spot. But City Councilman Bob Schaeffer (Nick Kroll) corruptly squirrels the money away for a pool, making the Johansens turn elsewhere, disastrously.
Jason Mantzoukas steals scenes as the Johansens’ best friend, Frank, a gambling addict who sends them spinning out on the casino idea. And then Jeremy Renner shows up as a mobster. Bet you didn’t see that coming.
Overall, Ferrell fans will probably dig this one, but I found the laughs too far in-between. You might think it’s a moral tale, but … yeah.
Warner Bros. special features include a look at the way that all of the comedians get inappropriate (or not) with each other backstage in “The House: Playing with a Loaded Deck”, how an ordinary house became the casino featured in the film through “If You Build The House They Will Come,” and deleted, extended, and gag scenes not included in the film.