• by Wes Singleton

Father Figures, D

Rated R, 125 minutes

Generally January is the time you'll find many terrible films the studios burn off after the holidays, but the dreadfully unfunny buddy comedy "Father Figures" proves to be a giant piece of Christmas coal. It's not naughty, it's just bad.

Kyle and Peter Reynolds (Owen Wilson and Ed Helms) are two fraternal twin brothers who have learned that their father did not die when they were young as they had previously believed, and that their eccentric mother, Helen Baxter (Glenn Close) had slept with many rich, famous and powerful men in the 1970's. They then go on a road trip to find out who their real father is, in the process finding out more about their mother than they probably ever wanted to.

In spite of a likable pair of leads, "Father Figures" is a big waste of time and largely devoid of many laughs. It's directed by cinematographer Lawrence Sher ("The Hangover" and other films) making his feature film debut, and written by Justin Malen. It manages to take a diverse, talented cast - where else will you find comedian Katt Williams and Glenn Close on the same bill - and throw them to the wind, unless you really enjoy seeing Wilson get pissed on by a little kid.

The same could easily be said for this movie, it's pissing away its potential by presenting a story so lazy, unrealistic and unfunny, you may not care who the father is. There's Terry Bradshaw playing himself and proving he definitely can't act, though the other two potential candidates - Oscar winner J.K. Simmons ("Whiplash") and Christopher Walken ("Catch Me If You Can") - should know better, especially Walken in a small, take-the-money-and-cash-the-check-as-fast-you-can performance.

Close, "Nebraska's" June Squibb, Williams, Ving Rhames and Harry Shearer are also all wasted, all appearing in mostly cameos, especially Williams', whose small part is much like the film itself: bizarre and unnecessary. It's easy to see why both Wilson and "The Office's" Helms were cast: they're charming, likable and with better material, can be really, really funny. Here they're mostly trying to be funny in a creepy story that has them learning way too much about their mother's past sex lives.

With such a stellar cast, "Father Figures" had some potential, but it crashes and burns early on and doesn't recover. Wilson and Helms should be reteamed with better material and results.

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