It’s that time of year where films try to cash in on the upcoming season of joy and the first one up is the sequel to 2015’s Daddy’s Home the imaginatively titled Daddy’s Home 2. Starring returning stars Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, and Linda Cardellini Daddy’s Home 2 also introduces two new chaotic elements in the shape of John Lithgow’s adorkable Don and Mel Gibson’s rough and tumble Kurt. The story is set during Christmas where the two families decide that they should have a shared Christmas experience after Megan outs the awkwardness of Brad and Dusty trying to juggle sharing the kids across the two families. This idea is loved by both families until the abrupt yet timely call from Dusty’s wayward father Kurt (Gibson) who invites himself to this shared Christmas event. As luck would have it Brad’s overly affectionate father Don (Lithgow) is also coming to town so with the two new daddy’s in tow the family head off to a ski resort to enjoy the ultimate Christmas experience, what they get is far from that.
Daddy’s Home 2 is an unmitigated chore of a film from the poorly timed comedic beats to the uninspired execution of the plot. Ferrell is his usual self playing into the buffoonish nature he has developed across his career and so there is nothing new there and because the script is so half-assed he doesn’t get to stretch his comedic muscles. I got the same sinking feeling watching Ferrell that I had in the also terrible The House and it’s a real shame because I love Ferrell when he’s at the top of his game.
The rest of the cast doesn’t fare much better Wahlberg is easily the most developed character in the film as Dusty has clearly grown as a person in the last film. He’s a much better father to his children and you find that you’ll sympathise with the many plights he has to deal with in this film coming from his terrible relationship with his father and the ridiculous antics of Brad. With Gibson and Lithgow the word of the day is squandered, they are both fantastic actors and they are given little to work with in Daddy’s Home 2. This is especially infuriating when you remember what a comedic genius Lithgow is having several iconic characters under his belt most notably Dick Solomon from 3rd Rock From The Sun. Gibson is clearly having a blast but there’s nothing particularly noteworthy in his performance save for a few giggles here and there that stem from his back and forth with Lithgow.
There are few positives in Daddy’s Home 2 the majority of them are in the shape of the children especially Megan (Scarlett Estevez) who steals a lot of the scenes away from the adults and for all the issues with the humour of the film there are a handful of scenes that will garner a giggle. My personal favourite is a scene between the four leads about a thermostat that is so convincingly hilarious because of how it is rooted in reality.
Ultimately Daddy’s Home 2 is one of the worst comedies of the year and despite the talent on hand is something you should only watch when you have a lot of free time on your hands and don’t have to pay for it.