The Family Plan

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The Family Plan
Release poster
Directed bySimon Cellan Jones
Written byDavid Coggeshall
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyMichael Burgess
Edited byTim Porter
Music byKevin Matley
Production
companies
Distributed byApple TV+
Release date
  • December 15, 2023 (2023-12-15)
Running time
119 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

The Family Plan is a 2023 American action comedy film directed by Simon Cellan Jones and written by David Coggeshall. Produced by Apple Studios and Skydance Media and Mark Wahlberg's Municipal Pictures, it stars Wahlberg, Michelle Monaghan, Zoe Colletti, Van Crosby, Saïd Taghmaoui, Maggie Q, and Ciarán Hinds.

Production began in late 2022. The film was released by Apple TV+ on December 15, 2023.

Plot[edit]

Dan Morgan is a gifted car salesman living quietly in the Buffalo suburbs with his wife Jessica and their three kids, teens, Nina and Kyle, and infant child Max. Dan is content with his low key life, and dislikes violence, technology and social media. Meanwhile, Jessica yearns for more spontaneity and excitement.

Dan and Jessica attend the carnival for their anniversary. He has a confrontation when someone purposely takes a selfie with them kissing in the background as a joke, then posts it on his social media. Dan walks away, refusing to engage in a fight.

Soon after, Dan is attacked in a supermarket while shopping with Max, and easily defeats the highly trained attacker. Afterwards, Dan, who is revealed to be an ex assassin, contacts his former associate Augie to find out why it happened. He suggests it is Dan's former employer McCaffrey, and advises him to disappear.

Dan, realizing the carnival photo outed him, orders new passports for him and his family. He retrieves his kids from school and Jessica from work, telling them they're taking a spontaneous road trip to Las Vegas, where he is meeting Augie to collect the new documents.

As they're leaving town, Dan realizes they're being followed and therefore their minivan must have a tracker on it. At work he uses a service bay to find and remove it from the undercarriage.

Meanwhile, McCaffrey and his team search the Morgans' home but can't find their destination, as Dan has covered their tracks. He drives through the night until reaching Iowa City. Excited, Nina begs them to visit Southern Iowa University as she hopes to follow her boyfriend Trevor there, rather than pursue her original goal of attending Stanford. She catches Trevor cheating on her, so Dan teaches her a martial arts moves to use on him.

During a campus tour, Dan notices a German man on his phone, and believes he works for McCaffrey, although he discovers he's mistaken when he's attacked by another of McCaffrey's henchmen. Dan fights the henchman and incapacitates him in a chemistry lab before rejoining his family.

As they travel, the family grows closer. Arriving in Vegas, Dan plans to tell Jessica the truth over a romantic dinner. The teens are to babysit Max in their penthouse suite, but all go down to the HyperX gaming arena, as Kyle is a popular gamer.

When Dan and Jessica return to their suite to check on the kids, McCaffrey's team attacks them. He quickly dispatches them, shocking Jessica. Heading downstairs to retrieve the kids, a shootout ensues and his family witness him kill two more assassins.

Revealing his name to be Sean, Dan finally comes clean to his family, who are outraged. He nevertheless gives them their new IDs, telling them that their lives in Buffalo are over, but Jessica takes the kids and leaves the next morning, believing they aren't in danger. She calls her friend, Gwen, a travel agent who offers to fly them home.

On the private jet, Gwen reveals she works for McCaffrey and is Dan’s ex, who she is angry at for leaving. Handing Jessica and the kids over to him, he takes them hostage. McCaffrey, Dan’s father, threatens to kill them unless Dan accepts his offer to rejoin his team of assassins. He relents, and Jessica and the kids are to return home.

Jessica and the kids escape after she kills their escort, and they go back for Dan. McCaffrey calls his army into the hotel to recapture him. Dan engages the mercenaries, with Kyle helping with a drone. Jessica fights Gwen, culminating in Jessica impaling her with a piece of broken bamboo as a javelin, from her track and field experience. They head downstairs where Nina distracts McCaffrey from killing Dan, giving him time to knock McCaffrey out, and he is taken into custody.

Some time later, the Morgans have returned to their lives in Buffalo; Dan now runs a security firm to train clients how to better defend against attacks while Jessica coaches high school track and field. They then load up a rented RV to embark on a cross-country road trip to take Nina to Stanford.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

In August 2022, Apple Studios announced an action comedy film from Skydance Media and Municipal Pictures to star Mark Wahlberg.[2] In October 2022, Michelle Monaghan and Saïd Taghmaoui joined the cast.[3][4] Other cast members added were Ciarán Hinds, Maggie Q, Zoe Colletti, Van Crosby and Miles Doleac.[5][6]

Principal photography commenced in October 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia,[7] under the working title Holiday Road.[8] A car dealership in Canton, Georgia, was used as a location for the film.[9] A helicopter was used to film aerial footage in downtown Buffalo, New York, in early November.[10] An ice cream shop in Clermont, Georgia, was transformed into Lambert's Diner for the film.[11] In February 2023, Wahlberg filmed scenes at The Strat casino resort in Las Vegas and also wrapped filming.[12][13]

Release[edit]

The film was released on Apple TV+ on December 15, 2023.[14] Deadline Hollywood reported the film became Apple TV+'s most watched film.[15]

Reception[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 25% of 36 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 4.4/10. The website's consensus reads: "Heavy on rote action and light on laughs, The Family Plan aimlessly imitates an array of films that tell similar stories -- and often in more compelling fashion."[16] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 39 out of 100, based on 11 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable" reviews.[17]

Guy Lodge of Variety gave a negative review, calling the film a "strangely sluggish shoot-'em-up". He criticized Coggeshall's script, writing that it "repeatedly underlines the mismatch between the wholesome white-bread family at its center and the hard-boiled genre proceedings in which it increasingly embroils them, but with no accompanying sense of giddy absurdism".[18] Calum Marsh writing for The New York Times gave a positive review; he praised director Jones saying that he "maintains a good handle on the comic-thriller tone and shoots the action with wit and creativity" and wrote that, "Wahlberg is more charismatic than he's been onscreen in nearly a decade".[19]

Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Stretching its high concept but thin results to the breaking point, The Family Plan feels like a movie whose best moments were during the pitch meeting" and that "to say it's predictable is an insult to predictability".[20] The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw said: "The script works efficiently and everyone involved sells it hard; there are continuous closeup cutaways to that cute and gurgling baby who never cries no matter what happens. But the sheer robotic sheen of the film in the end works against it; Dan's teen son happens to be a super-talented gamer and in fact the whole movie has a Grand Theft Auto aesthetic".[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Family Plan (12)". British Board of Film Classification. December 4, 2023. Archived from the original on December 7, 2023. Retrieved December 5, 2023.
  2. ^ Kroll, Justin (August 16, 2022). "Mark Wahlberg To Star In 'The Family Plan' For Apple Original Films And Skydance". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 15, 2022. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  3. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 19, 2022). "Michelle Monaghan Joins Mark Wahlberg In Apple And Skydance's 'The Family Plan'". Archived from the original on October 31, 2022. Retrieved October 19, 2022.
  4. ^ Grobar, Matt (October 31, 2022). "Saïd Taghmaoui Joins Apple & Skydance's 'The Family Plan'; Prime Video's 'The Idea Of You' Adds Mathilda Gianopoulos". Archived from the original on February 16, 2023. Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  5. ^ Kroll, Justin (November 18, 2022). "Maggie Q, Zoe Colletti, Van Crosby And Ciaran Hinds Join Apple And Skydance's The Family Plan Starring Mark Wahlberg". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 18, 2022. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  6. ^ Christopherson, David (December 9, 2022). "AHS Alum Miles Doleac Joins Mark Wahlberg in Holiday Road". MovieWeb. Archived from the original on January 6, 2023. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  7. ^ Goddard, Molly Claire (October 19, 2022). "On The Go? Mark Wahlberg Lands In Georgia After Ditching Hollywood For New Life In Nevada". OK Magazine. Archived from the original on March 31, 2023. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  8. ^ Ho, Rodney (November 15, 2022). "What's filming in Georgia in November 2022?". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on February 23, 2023. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  9. ^ "The Family Plan". Explore Canton, GA. Archived from the original on October 4, 2023. Retrieved September 14, 2023.
  10. ^ Clement, Imani (November 8, 2022). "Helicopter flying over Buffalo being used to film scenes for new movie". WKBW-TV. Archived from the original on January 8, 2023. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  11. ^ Anderson, Ben (December 16, 2022). "Mark Wahlberg stops by Clermont creamery to shoot for upcoming movie". The Gainesville Times. Archived from the original on January 8, 2023. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  12. ^ "Mark Wahlberg hypes new movie after filming at The STRAT in Las Vegas". KSNV. February 15, 2023. Archived from the original on March 8, 2023. Retrieved April 13, 2023.
  13. ^ Wahlberg, Mark [@markwahlberg] (February 8, 2023). "Congrats to my guy @joynerlucas on his first motion picture wrap. Stay tuned". Archived from the original on April 13, 2023. Retrieved April 13, 2023 – via Instagram.
  14. ^ McArdle, Tommy (November 1, 2023). "Mark Wahlberg Is a Suburban Dad with a Secret Assassin Past in The Family Plan First Look (Exclusive)". People. Archived from the original on November 3, 2023. Retrieved November 3, 2023.
  15. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (December 21, 2023). "Mark Wahlberg's The Family Plan Apple TV+'s Most Watched Movie Ever As The Morning Show Broke Records For Streamer's TV Drama Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 21, 2023.
  16. ^ "The Family Plan". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved December 21, 2023. Edit this at Wikidata
  17. ^ "The Family Plan". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved January 8, 2024.
  18. ^ Lodge, Guy (December 15, 2023). "The Family Plan Review: Rote Actioner Stars Mark Wahlberg as Cinema's Least Well-Disguised Assassin". Variety. Retrieved December 15, 2023.
  19. ^ Marsh, Calum (December 14, 2023). "The Family Plan Review: Who's Your Daddy?". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 15, 2023. Retrieved December 15, 2023.
  20. ^ Scheck, Frank (December 15, 2023). "The Family Plan Review: Mark Wahlberg's Apple TV+ Action Comedy Is Numbingly Routine". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 15, 2023.
  21. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (December 15, 2023). "The Family Plan review – Mark Wahlberg and his abs forced to revive special forces past". The Guardian. Retrieved December 15, 2023.

External links[edit]