The comedy-horror film Mom and Dad is Brian Taylor’s first solo effort after co-directing the Crank films and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, the latter of which accounts for the presence of Nicolas Cage. (That, and Cage can’t really afford to say “no” these days.) This film’s title characters are Brent (Cage) and Kendall (Selma Blair), the respective father and mother of surly teenager Carly (Anne Winters) and her little brother Josh (Zackary Arthur), who must fight for their lives during a 24-hour period in which parents try to kill their children for no apparent reason.
After establishing the madness in the larger world, much of the action takes place in a dark house, further confirming Mom and Dad as a witless clone of original The Purge, minus all the libtard observations about class and race that make the Purge films thoughtful. It’s possible to be transgressive and taboo-shattering without simultaneously punching down — case in point being We Are the Flesh — but as befits a director whose IMDB picture looks like he wants to beat you up, Mom and Dad indulges in some truly tired stereotypes of Black and Chinese people. There’s a good idea deep down in Mom and Dad about midlife crises, but the film is too busy pandering to its worst impulses to explore it.
Opens Friday at the Roxie Theater.