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The Family Plan
       review by Bobby Blakey

Throughout the years there have been numerous films playing the secret life of a spy with the family comedy genre such as The Pacifier and The Spy Next Door featuring action stars. Now Mark Wahlberg is getting in on the fun with his latest film The Family Plan co-starring Michelle Monaghan, Zoe Colletti, Van Crosby, Saïd Taghmaoui, Maggie Q, and Ciarán Hinds from Ballers and See director Simon Cellan Jones. Could this flick bring something new to this spy comedy genre or will it fail to hide its double life?


The Family Plan follows Dan Morgan who loves his quiet suburban life as a devoted husband, father of three and successful car salesman. But that’s only half the story. Decades earlier, he was an elite government assassin tasked with eliminating the world’s deadliest threats. When enemies from his past track him down, Dan packs his unsuspecting wife (Michelle Monaghan), angsty teen daughter, pro-gamer teen son and adorable 10-month-old baby into their minivan and takes off on an impromptu cross-country road trip to Las Vegas. Determined to protect his family — while treating them to the vacation of a lifetime — Dan must put his long-dormant skills into action, without revealing his identity.


This type of film could deliver a fun story, but more often than not fails to deliver. This one is far from perfect but does have that rarity of working more than it doesn’t. This is a story we have seen a billion times, but thanks to Wahlberg’s everyman swagger and a fun story it manages to entertain. It’s not bringing anything all that new to the genre and never takes any really big chances but does exactly what it sets out to do and that is bring the laughs and action from beginning to end.


Wahlberg has already proven himself in both action and comedy, so it isn’t all

that hard for him to morph into this role. Some elements of his character reminded me of him from the underrated Th Big Hit. Both films he brings a good balance to both sides of the coin and the films work. This is one that is pretty by the numbers so not really pushing any boundaries to be anything other than what it is and that is ok. It takes the familiar idea and injects with some good action and laughs.


These kinds of films struggle more often than not, but here there is a decent balance of everything to make for a good action comedy for the whole family. It is a little intense on the action for some smaller kids depending on your parenting choices, but it never goes so far to be that bad. I think it is the kind of film tailor made for streaming so Apple TV+ is a good place for it as opposed to the big screen release. It is a turn your brain off and just have a good time with it all kind of experience. I do want to point out a fun fight sequence with the always awesome Lateef Crowder early on in the film that is great.  


If you are a fan of films like True Lies or to a lesser extent The Pacifier, then you will probably have fun with this one as well. Decide for yourself and check out The Family Plan streaming now on Apple TV+.

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