Swedish

30 dec. 2023

Review

'THE FAMILY PLAN' | MOVIE REVIEW

While coming up with a plan can certainly be hard at times, Apple Studios and Skydance Media have executed their plan perfectly with 'THE FAMILY PLAN'. Released on the 15th of December The film in question is an Apple TV+ original movie. The film is directed by Simon Cellan Jones and written by David Coggeshall. Starring in the picture are Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Monaghan, Zoe Colletti, and Van Crosby to name a few.

While 'THE FAMILY PLAN' does not seem like something extraordinary at first glance. We can tell you that judging a book by its cover is something that can be so true at times. The movie surprised us greatly by beeing an incredibly fun film behind a not so special poster. But except for beeing fun, it is also action-packed, heartwarming, and a little bit of everything. It is not a perfect picture, we can assure you that. But if you look at our rating which we will disclose at the end of this review, it comes pretty close nonetheless.

'THE FAMILY PLAN' leans heavily on the themes of family, the movie truly puts 'the family' in focus, if you could not guess it from the title already. But it also features a strong essence of love. If you can see past the many action scenes and hilarious moments, this film can touch your heart. Priorities and that no one else than YOU can choose your path are also themes that linger in the background. So is the word honesty. Themes which I think were fitting for this kind of family story seeing as many families go through different problems related to these teams, when aging together with their kids.

Now we are not gonna say that this movie is action-packed to the brim. But there are some solid, 'family' inspired action that is pretty neat. While the action could have been grittier if you asked me, the age rating of the movie would certainly need to be raised. While that might not have been possible for this kind of family project, I will still say that I enjoyed the action to a satisfying degree. There was a little bit too much gunfighting, that is my biggest con regarding the action. There is however some really enjoyable hand-to-hand combat, espacially at the beginning of the film. Mark Wahlberg's character (Dan Morgan) does some exceptionally skilled fighting with a baby strapped to his chest in a supermarket, something that has you on edge throughout the sequence. That feels like a skill every parent should learn, just in case you know.

In ‘THE FAMILY PLAN’ the family dynamics and chemistry are trully influential. Everyone's performance feels honest, and so does every actor/actress's relation to their co-stars. There are some expressive acting used in the film, as I like to call it. You can see, at times, that the emotions really come through in their performances. Especially in the facial expressions you can see that emotions come through and that you are witnessing a great performance. All individual parts of this film seem to be exceptionally talented and it looks like they are having a fun time on set. That is at least the impression I am given.

If we were to go into more detail about the actors/actresses of this film. I can say that Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Monaghan, (the dad and mom respectively) are doing a phenomenal job playing the ‘adults’ of this film. But they are not just strict and understanding, as so many parents can be. They are also incredibly badass, and funny at times. 

This is something that also shines over to their three children, played by: Van Crosby, Zoe Colletti, as well as Iliana Norris/Vienna Norris (in a shared role). The younger actors/actresses are doing an as good, if not better performance as the children of the Morgan family. My only complaint about the overall family in the story is that the youngest child, Max the toddler, is beeing a bit overused in many scenes as a cute factor. Do not take me wrong I love to see a cute toddler running around and laughing, but towards the end of the film, it felt like we got a bit too much of that.

Now if we are going to take a shot at the visuals of ‘THE FAMILY PLAN’. See what we did there? “take a shot” That is a reference to all the bullets fired in the film… Maybe we should skip my career as a comedian. But the visuals of this film look solid nonetheless. They are traveling a lot throughout this film which means we get varying scenery which felt nice. 

My favorite scenic parts from the film are most likely from the hotel they visit in Las Vegas. As well as some of the scenes from their road trip in the car. They spend a bit of time in their car traveling, not to say it is that much time. You should not worry about that if you are going to see this film. But some time at least, is spent inside their mini-van. But accounting for the funny moments from inside the car as well as the action-filled sequences, it does not get boring from my point of view.

Moving on, I do not think there are any award-winning visual elements to this film. But, I still think the visuals are fun enough to have you seated for the almost two hours this film runs. The story and acting is absolutely its stronger part. The visuals are not bad, but tend to feel weaker when directly comparing it to for example the acting.

My only major critique of ‘THE FAMILY PLAN’ is that I noticed some continuity errors in the film. Minor errors that could easily pass under one's eye. But they were there, some errors that bothered me a bit. For example, the sound of neighbors being heard through a closed window in the car, or the sound of gunshots NOT being heard by the sleeping passengers in a car. As well as the family in the car not being able to feel a major chase sequence and some reckless driving from the dad. But that is just on the minor side. These are things you could easily overlook, or pretty easily at least. 

If you are to look at our rating in a minute you can see that we pretty much looked passed it. An emphasis on pretty much because we still noticed it.

Otherwise, we think ‘THE FAMILY PLAN’ is a really solid movie. There are some fabulous themes, a fun story, and some stellar performances. What more could you ask of a movie? Well, maybe that the ‘gun-crazy’ villains of the film felt a little bit more threatening. I think that the most threatening aspect of the bad guys in this film was their guns. That is something I wished could have been better. Some more bad-ass villains would have been nice. But for what we get in the film the bad guys are doing an okay job of beeing, evil. There is also a plot twist towards the end of the film that we will not spoil, but that happily surprised us and made the overarching story somewhat more exciting. 

‘THE FAMILY PLAN’ is an awesome film. We therefore give it a solid rating of 4,5 / 5 stars. We think the film deserves this rating because it combines authentic and expressive acting with some solid themes. It features a little bit of everything in the right dosage, most of the time at least. While not beeing 5-star perfect, and not leaving me in a ‘WOW’’ state. This film brings with it some of the most important parts that make a film just solidly entertaining. 

We now encourage you to go watch ‘THE FAMILY PLAN’ and form your own opinion around the movie. Do you agree with our review? Or are we totally wrong about ‘THE FAMILY PLAN’? It is streaming on Apple TV+ right now. This can be the perfect family movie to watch this Christmas and Holliday season, We assure you that it has something for most family members, toddlers, and adults alike.

Reviewed by Eddie Gustafsson

Av

Eddie G

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