Full disclosure, I did not watch the first movie! I deemed it not necessary, and after watching the sequel – my feelings for this are much the same. From very different but respected areas of the Hollywood sphere, even the great cast for this film couldn’t salvage a lackluster and banal script that reeks of a holiday cash grab. Sure it’s nice, and easy to watch, but it was like a Ferrari at a tractor pull.
Having overcome what I assume was an ego contest in the first iteration, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg have overcome their issues and are working as co-dads to their kids and step-children and all is well. But Christmas is around the corner and to most that means family time. Both men’s fathers are coming and the dichotomies of their personalities are the fragile framework on which this whole movie is based upon.
Jon Lithgow is great, a scene stealer, whereas Mel Gibson just sardonically laughs his way through the film and continues to be a ratbag. However, both offer nice character contrasts for their children whose coalition is a fragile one and quickly exposed when the combined families go to a snow cabin for Xmas. Throw in a new dad with John Cena and we have a veritable sausage fest, and the female characters are barely scratched upon, without a trace of any real storylines.
I guess the women’s version of this is “Bad Moms” which is also out at the same time. Do I smell a future crossover? Calling it now if it happens!
The Director has given us a comfortable movie with the right amount of cheap slapstick and overlong whimsical dialogue exchanges. We get to experience various combinations of the characters interacting in scenarios, often disagreeing and fighting, and often in public where they garner an audience who clap and jeer along and make the whole film feel like its meta.
This is only bolstered in the final climatic scene where Will Ferrell almost literally addresses the audience and reminds us what the purpose of a movie is… weird and a tad preachy for a movie whose plot we’ve seen a dozen times.
I had only one objective for this movie, which was to laugh once. Well, I did twice, so in that respect, Daddy’s Home 2 DOUBLED my expectations, so nice job there.