After the events of the first Daddy’s Home, Dusty and Brad seemed to have settled into a nice routine as, to use their term, Co-Dads of children, Adrianna and Dylan. However, it is the Christmas Holiday and somehow Dusty and Brad invited their own fathers to the celebration; Que hijinks that bring this family closer together.
Hey, its November, so you know what that means; that’s right it’s the 3-month celebration of Christmas, with the trotting out of those tried and true commercials and movies that end with a family discovering the true meaning of Christmas. The first one of those this year is the sequel to a film that didn’t perform critically well, but clearly did enough at the box office to warrant another instalment to a series that didn’t seem to need one. Daddy’s Home is full of that improv comedy that has seemed to affect all of American comedy with stilted delivery and cartoonish situations.
Daddy’s Home 2 presents itself as essentially another safe family comedy where everyone learns to love each other, become better people, find the Christmas spirit and whatever. Nothing of consequence ever happens in this film that isn’t sorted by the next day. Like scenes of child endangerment, property damage, trespassing on public land, vandalism, public brawling and being drunk and disorderly. This family commit a lot of crimes and it is all just swept under the rug for the sake of wacky dysfunctional hijinks.
The characters themselves aren’t really characters as it is just Will Ferrell and Mark Walberg hanging out in a nice house in the mountains with their famous friends, like another American comic… However, more than that, Walberg himself can be a likeable and charismatic performer, and it is disappointing to see him phone it in with an easy pay check. But by far the worst offender in this film is Will Ferrell. In Daddy’s Home 2, as with all his most recent work, he will not stop yelling. Brad, Ferrell’s character, is a bundle of anxieties, some very deep-seated issues and all the charm of a kid vomiting on you. Not a scene goes by without him falling down, screaming or performing some sort of improvised skit. None of which is funny or endeering but smacks of someone trying far too hard to entertain. Mel Gibson is also there as Dusty’s Dad with a permanent sneer on his face and laughing maniacally at other’s misfortune like a psychopath. While I was watching this film I felt sorry for John Lithgow who plays Brad’s Dad who is too good for this film, as well as Linda Cardellini as Brad’s wife Sara, who has nothing to do. I found myself identifying with Sara more than any of the leads as she was beginning to meet the end of her rope and had had enough of these idiotic caricatures of human behaviour.
I am not really sure what else to say about this film that hasn’t already been said by a dozen different critics about a dozen different movies. Daddy’s Home 2 is lazy, middle of the road, uncomfortably unfunny, obnoxious and entierly forgettable. The only reason I can think of why Daddy’s Home and Daddy’s Home 2 will be remembered and watched by future generations is as a time capsule of how people saw gender back in the before times.
You can watch Daddy’s Home 2 in cinema’s now