ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

KSL Movie Show review: ‘The Family Plan’ is entertaining but not exceptional

Dec 14, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: Dec 22, 2023, 11:30 am

the family plan movie review photo shows steve salles next to the movie poster...

SALT LAKE CITY — Why is it every time I mention Mark Wahlberg it’s followed by an audible groan?

That’s because, more often than not, he’s made some eye-rolling movies over the years.

Oh, you want me to name names?

Okay, how about “Me Time,” “Uncharted,” “Transformers: The Last Knight,” “Planet of the Apes” and my personal favorite the M. Night Shyamalan stinker “The Happening.”

Sure, he’s done some good movies too. Say what you will, but the “Ted” movies are hilarious, “Lone Survivor” was intense and “The Departed.” Yeah, he was in that.

The reason I bring this up – is that his new movie, “The Family Plan,” is fairly decent despite its incredibly bland title and long running time.

Wahlberg plays Dan Morgan, an unassuming used car salesman, living in Buffalo, N.Y. with his wife and three kids. He loves his family, his simple life and especially his minivan.

Unfortunately, he has one significant problem.

He used to be a covert assassin who killed a bunch of bad guys. That was until his boss McCaffrey (Ciarán Hinds) figured out he could make twice as much killing anybody. That’s when Dan left the business, took up a new life and became an everyman.

For the past 18 years, he’s managed to keep his head down, avoid social media and stay out of trouble. That is until he’s photographed at his daughter’s graduation.

The family man’s family plan goes off course

The picture gets uploaded, facial recognition steps in and he’s exposed. It’s only a matter of time before his old crew comes a-calling and they are dead set against him leading a normal life.

Here’s where it gets a little silly and awkward – as he hasn’t told his family about his former job and has now put them in serious danger.

Plus, he goes one step further, continuing the ruse, hoping he can get his family to Las Vegas, establish new identities and start new lives in Canada without revealing his old ways.

However, it’s played for giggles, as these former co-workers stumble and bumble around, while Dan covers up these murder attempts as simple coincidence.

You can imagine how thrilled his wife (Michelle Monaghan) is to learn of his past and that killers want them all dead. She’s furious, grabs the kids and makes her own plans for escape, but that doesn’t go so well either.

Here’s where you realize that the movie still has another hour to go.

If that had been tightened up, by say, a half an hour, it would have been a better-paced, action-packed adventure. As is, “The Family Plan” still offers enough to be entertaining, it’s just not exceptional.

THE FAMILY PLAN (B-) ON APPLE TV + ONLY Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, sexual material and some strong language. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Monaghan, Ciarán Hinds, Maggie Q, Zoe Margaret Colletti and Van Crosby. Directed by Simon Cellan Jones (best known for TV series “The Diplomat” “Ballers”) – filmed in Canton, Georgia. Runtime: 1 hour 58 minutes.

Steve Salles is the co-host of the KSL Movie Show. Follow the show on Facebook. Join the KSL Movie Show Club for exclusive perks by texting MOVIE to 57500. 

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KSL Movie Show review: ‘The Family Plan’ is entertaining but not exceptional