The Family Plan

The Family Plan
The Family Plan
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The latest appearance of Mark Wahlberg on the giant screen was when he acted as a boxer-turned-priest in Father Stu. In The Family Plan, his character Dan Morgan is praying for his family’s safety. It’s not that they have done anything wrong; it’s just that Dan used to be an assassin for the government — and his family knows nothing about it. But after many years of living in a nice neighborhood as a devoted husband (to Michelle Monaghan) and father of three kids, something from his old job comes back to haunt him.

While this is not the most original plot-line (Role Play, anyone?), The Family Plan should do just fine for a safe movie night. Written by David Coggeshall (Prey), directed by Simon Cellan Jones (The Diplomat), and starring Mark Wahlberg, Apple TV+’s action comedy asks viewers to suspend disbelief over every little thing — including why Wahlberg is using a New York accent when he sells cars in Chicago and how Michelle Monaghan has never been in a comedy before this.

The problem with reviewing The Family Plan is that there are only two phrases that accurately describe it: “It’s good” or “It’s bad.” There really isn’t much else to say about it because those are the only things that matter. Yes, there are better movies out there — but there also are worse ones. So instead of whining about how much time you wasted watching this film, let’s instead appreciate every minute we enjoyed.

The title The Family Plan refers to the strategic planning necessary for parenting multiple children in today’s world. Both parents work; their infant son stays at day care while one daughter practices soccer and the other sneaks around on her phone during school hours… you know, “the plan.” And like father, like daughter(s): Kyle Morgan played by Van Crosby is secretly one of those famous gamers who makes millions of dollars screaming at his TV; he just doesn’t want his parents to know.

But when a picture of Dan (Wahlberg) and his family is posted on the internet, Kyle’s secret life isn’t the only one in danger. Dan’s cover has been blown and now there are people who want him dead. And as it turns out, the best person to help him find out who wants him dead is — wait for it — actually in Las Vegas. So I guess that’s where they’re going next!?

They do have to get there first though, so naturally they go on a good old-fashioned cross-country road trip. By this point you’ll already have seen Wahlberg beat up three dudes with a toaster oven, but don’t worry… because you’re about to see him beat up five more guys with a waffle iron while he drives two cars at the same time for 45 minutes straight through every major city in central America. Oh yeah, and his wife will be driving behind him with their three kids asleep in the backseat during all of this — so don’t worry about them either.

Primarily recognized for his work in dramas and horror films, writer David Coggeshall has collaborated with director Simon Cellan Jones who is best known for his television work. They are both in new creative arenas with The Family Plan, but their combined passion for the project is evident. Most scenes come alive and are vibrant if not always dull; even though they lean too much on action-comedy tropes—clever premise, a burst of surprising action, a plan to solve it all.

In this outing, every Morgan family character gets their own story arc in which we see them through. Although Van Crosby’s gamer-boy Kyle tends to be the most interesting of the bunch but falls into a canyon of convenience once the family hits Las Vegas. Things really kick up once the action moves to Sin City where you can expect appearances from Ciarán Hinds (The Dry) as a sinister ringleader among others like Maggie Q (Divergent, Pivoting) who does well with what’s offered here.

Despite some predictable scenarios, there’s a surprising amount of charm in The Family Plan which is ultimately its saving grace, you just can’t help but like it. Wahlberg and Monaghan have dazzling on-screen chemistry while Zoe Margaret Colletti and Van Crosby have got the sister/brother thing down offer something more realized with their characters. Two significant action sequences act as creative tent poles for the film: first being the supermarket scene and later followed by a big blow out in an abandoned Las Vegas hotel casino –perfect setting for any film’s climax these days might feel bit drawn out.

At this time when people are looking most audiences are looking for levity and fun I think that The Family Plan will no doubt be welcome treat –there is enough sizzle here to sustain my appetite viewers’ appetite But maybe at end of day we can all agree that there’s always bit fun when Mark Wahlberg does Mark Wahlberg pretending not to do Mark Wahlberg.

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