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  • Writer's pictureKen Silvers

The Family Plan

I like Mark Wahlberg, but every time I see him I think of Marky Mark, his former music persona, despite his Oscar nomination in 2006. More often than not, Wahlberg tends to stick to roles that best suit his talents, as in the new movie "The Family Plan", an action/comedy, where he plays a former assassin living incognito with his family in Buffalo, NY. Frankly, if I were in his position I would have lived in a warmer climate, but I suppose that's beside the point. Wahlberg stars as Dan Morgan, a car salesman married to Jessica (Michelle Monaghn), and the father to three kids, Nina (Zoe Colleti, Kyle (Van Crosby), and Max (played by twins Iliana and Vienna Norris). Dan shys away from technology and social media, leaving Jessica often frustrated that the family isn't more spontaneous. Gee, I wonder why Dan is this way? Little does he know, his past is coming back to haunt him. When Dan and Jessica are at a local carnival celebrating their anniversary, they discover some guys filming a romantic moment, and while Dan goes nuclear inside, he holds back due to the danger of revealing his former occupation. Matters really crank up when Dan and his youngest child Max are at the supermarket and he is attacked by an obviously trained assassin. Dan manages to defeat his attacker, but after contacting a former associate, he is advised to leave town as the attacker could have been hired by McCaffrey (Ciaran Hinds), his former employer. Upon discovering the photo taken of Dan and Jessica taken at the carnival "outed" him, he prepares to gather passports for his family and packs bags for them under the guise of taking a spontaneous trip to Las Vegas. Once the family is on the road to Vegas, Dan discovers this vehicle has a tracking device, and manages to dispose of it. The family  makes several stops on their trip, but are found by the henchmen at each stop. When the family finally makes it to Vegas, everything comes crashing down when Dan and Jessica are attacked in their hotel suite and Dan is finally forced to tell his wife the truth about his past. After a shoot out in the hotel, Dan reveals his real name is Sean, and tells his family their life in Buffalo is over, and Jessica decides to take the kids and leave Dan/Sean. This action proves disastrous, as Jessica and the kids are kidnapped by McCaffrey's henchmen forcing our hero into action. There is an eventual showdown at an abandoned  hotel involving everyone, including Dan/Sean's ex-love Gwen (Maggie Q). There is also a surprise involving Dan/Sean and McCaffrey that I will not reveal. As expected the bad guys lose, and the Morgan family is able to return to Buffalo and get their lives back to normal. The film doesn't pretend to be anything new or different, but does succeed as an action/comedy. Wahlberg is fine in a role tailor made for him, and I often feel as if I have seen this plot hundreds of times. The supporting cast is fine, and the sparring of their characters is typical for this genre. Overall, if you want a film with surprisingly tense action, with some comedy thrown in, "The Family Plan" is for you. Just don't expect the reinvention of cinema. Now streaming on Apple TV+ (Rated PG-13)



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