Daddy's Home 2 (2017)
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I suspect that some critics are triggered by bits that appear in trailers for the film, like the running joke that Will Ferrell kisses his father John Lithgow as Mel makes wry commentary on it. What someone today might call "gay panic" or "homophobia" is actually better described as CULTURE SHOCK, a term without so much judgment. It is all part of a character arc and effectively underscores the difference in parenting styles at the heart of the movie's conflicts.
This movie opened on my father's birthday, which might have been a good time to see it (or a terrible weepy time) but I had to work. I finally saw it and had the cinema all to myself on a Friday afternoon. The movie deserves more success. It is about on par with most Christmas dysfunction movies like Christmas Vacation. Watching a few of the set-piece moments, especially where they culminate, I am flabbergasted that critics have been hostile. Rotten Tomatoes guaranteed fresh the remake of Ghostbusters and this movie gets a splat? Something is rotten besides tomatoes in the state of Denmark.
The movie skewers gun safety, drinking, and Christmas rituals --- while introducing something I've never heard of: Do people dress as characters in public Nativity scenes? Overall, I found the movie pleasant and mild. The actors are all charming, even the model girlfriend who actually does have a discrete character that isn't quite a cliché.
You can safely disregard any review by a Mel Gibson hater. Adam Carolla's co-host reported Mel saying some quite correct and positive things about the trend of holding abusers accountable, but then she couldn't resist what she called a "refresher" on Mel's past troubles. Those kinds of "refreshers" tend to leave out CONTEXT!!!! and also tend to omit the factor of alcoholism and bipolar disorder, two valid obstacles which I am pleased to see him overcome. He is quite funny in this. I hope he keeps acting (and directing).
There is a fun movie within a movie that is an interesting commentary on Hollywood taste. The movie had me laughing (albeit alone in an otherwise empty theatre) and pretty much smiling the rest of the time. I found it to be a notch better and funnier than the original. Will and Mark are a bit more grounded here. The one scene that didn't work for me as physical comedy was a snow blower catching a string of Christmas lights and pulling it dangerously around, only because it reminded me of a cable snapping in the Piranha remake and slicing someone. The possibility of serious injury was prolonged a few seconds too much. But most of the movie is about little mundane moments and conflicts people can rise above. The ending is Christmas Movie cheesy and that is okay with me.
A sequel to the 2015 hit comedy starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, as two rival fathers competing for the same children's love. In this follow-up they're now friends, and they have to deal with their own fathers visiting for the holidays, who are also complete opposites as well of course. Mel Gibson and John Lithgow join the cast, as the elder dads, while Linda Cardellini and John Cena also reprise their roles from the original movie. The film was once again directed by Sean Anders, and it was written by Anders and John Morris (the same duo also co-wrote the original, as well as 'HOT TUB TIME MACHINE', 'SEX DRIVE', 'SHE'S OUT OF MY LEAGUE', 'WE'RE THE MILLERS', 'HORRIBLE BOSSES 2', and other hit comedies). This film has received nearly unanimous negative reviews from critics, but it's done really well at the Box Office (and with viewers there). I thought it was pretty funny too actually.
Brad and Dusty (Ferrell and Wahlberg) now get along perfectly, and our doing a really effective job co-parenting their kids together. Then both of their fathers, Kurt (Gibson) and Don (Lithgow), decide to visit them for the holidays. Kurt is extremely egotistical, obsessively masculine, and a bit of a sexist asshole. Don is really sweet, kind and friendly. More family drama occurs because of their visit, which causes conflict between Brad and Dusty again as well. Especially when Brad invites the biological father (Cena) of Dusty's stepdaughter over.
The movie is frequently very funny. It definitely has some bad jokes in it too, and it's a pretty routine family Christmas comedy, but it's still mostly funny. Adding Gibson to the cast, as the womanizing chauvinistic pig, was brilliant casting in my opinion as well, and he's hilarious in the role. Lithgow is also good in his part too, and Ferrell and Wahlberg are both effective once again too. I actually enjoyed this sequel more than it's predecessor; it seems more packed with quality humor to me, at least in my opinion. It's also more fun that it's set at Christmas (in my opinion as well).
Mel Gibson brought the best comedic moments, largely because he character was really playing into the Mel Gibson tough guy persona and it felt more natural than the other characters. Linda Cardellini was able to do more with her character as she was given a couple scenes alongside Alessandra Ambrosio, whose cameo was expanded into a full fledged role. Ambrosio was successfully hidden in her scenes to avoid exposing the fact that she is a model, not an actress. John Cena was also credited as returning in his cameo role as well, but I never saw him, though the other characters acted as though he was there.
The plot follows Brad (Will Ferrell) and Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) being codads with their children. Dusty is trying to get along with his resistant stepdaughter who pays too much attention to her phone. While, the kids going back and forth between their stepfather and father becomes a tiresome. They decide to celebrate Christmas together in one household. Then, comes the surprise when Dusty's father (Mel Gibson) calls and says he is coming over. When Dusty and Brad's fathers are coming to visit their grandkids. They decide to go on a holiday retreat to beat having to debate where they are opening gifts and whose house they are having dinner at. Then, that's where the fun begins with Brad and Dusty's parenting is being criticized by their own fathers with Gibson's tough love parenting vs. Lithgow's sensitive compassion parenting comes to play.
I love Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell chemistry in the first film. Sadly, this sequel fails to generate any laughs or gags. Most of the fun parts were already shown in the trailers. Mel Gibson's character is like a dead beat with jokes about hookers, teaching boys to be tough man and to hunt to provide for their ladies. While the ladies stay in the kitchen and cook. Which caused his granddaughter to take charge and wanting to hunt a turkey and learn how to shoot a rifle. While John Lithgow is a sensitive father figure, that gets emotional at every single thing. But when Dusty's father sees that his stepdaughter is walking all over the parents. He lectures that Dusty needs to lay the hammer with discipline.
The film's script is dried out with lacking humor this time with the concept of grandfather vs. grandfather, and who can raise their kids better. But it just wasn't as funny as the first.
Overall, Daddy's Home 2 is a terrible film. The script is lacking in humor. There were barely any laughs or gags. The plot was boring.
I rate the film 1.5 out of 5 stars. I do not recommend the film unless you are really bored, otherwise I ll consider it as a rental.
The themes of relationship sabotage and reclamation continue here, with less satisfying results than its predecessor. I do kind of wish that Brad and Dusty weren't too bothered with harboring internal conflicts as that is what the first film was all about, but it did connect to the overall story so I understand its necessity. Character involvement is plenty spread out with highlights from Mel Gibson, though due to a short run time there is a lot of underdevelopment juggling ten characters. The absence of Hannibal Buress was also noted (and hey, where were the dogs?).
As far as PG-13 pure comedies go this may near atop the 2017 list, though that's not saying much. Even if the film's quality might not be worth all of your hard-earned dollars, its value is still best served as a theater viewing experience with the family (age not being a factor), especially as we near the holiday seasons.
Minor note: There is a short after-credits scene that is not worth your time. I don't know what it was there for.
Here is another case in point: "Daddy's Home 2", which has some laugh-out-loud comedy moments, but is generally so utterly drenched in schmaltz and sentimentality that the film becomes far harder work than it should be. (By the way, I never saw "Daddy's Home" (but read the IMDB synopsys): it was not a prerequisite for seeing this movie).
Will Ferrell ("Get Hard", "Anchorman") reprises his role as the somewhat incompetent Brad, 'sharing' his family of kids and stepkids with the much more streetwise Dusty (Mark Wahlberg, "Patriot's Day"). After a poignant school recital, the pair realise the damage that a distributed Christmas is doing to their offspring and they determine to spend Christmas all together this year. In the process they vow to try to put aside their attempts at one-upmanship - "the harbour is closed" - in the interests of giving everyone the best Christmas ever.
But their plans are turned upside down when their fathers also turn up for Christmas: Mel Gibson (in a sublime piece of casting) plays Dusty's dad, astronaut-hero Kurt, who is even more macho and extreme than Dusty, and John Lithgow ("Miss Sloane"; "The Accountant") plays Brad's airy-fairy father Don... the apple has not fallen far from the tree there.
Kurt forces the family to 'fight' Christmas on a neutral turf by renting a palatial AirBnB in a snowy wilderness. Tensions rise between the diverse individuals until a breaking point is inevitably reached.
There are some great farcical sight-gags in this movie. Quite a few of the funniest ones are spoiled by the trailer, but there are still a few standout routines that made me guffaw. A hi-tech shower is predictable but funny; and Brad's use of a snowblower to apocalyptic ends is the funniest scene in the movie.
Wahlberg and Ferrell are a trustworthy double act (after their initial surprise pairing in "The Other Guys"). Gibson and Lithgow also inhabit their roles perfectly, although it was hard of me to relate to either of them. The scene on the airport escalator as they arrive is very well done.
The supporting cast all play their parts well: ER's Linda Cardellini as Brad's wife and Dusty's ex-wife; Brazilian model and actress Alessandra Ambrosio, as Dusty's (almost unbelievably good-looking) new wife Karen; and WWE star John Cena as Karen's ex-husband. (Doesn't ANYONE stay married in the US any more?). The kid stars - Didi Costine, Scarlett Estevez and Owen Vaccaro - are also good, with Estevez being particularly appealing. Watch out for a funny cameo in the final scene as well, which I found very amusing ("You only have one story" ... LoL).
What drowns out the comedy though is the sentimental storyline around a personal tragedy being lived out by one of the family. The angst and nasty back-biting that surrounds this I found neither funny nor pleasant. The story builds to a snow-bound cinema (showing "Missile Tow" starring Liam Neeson... a great "pointless answer" for the BBC's "Pointless" quiz!) and a finale song that is just so over the top that it has both an "awww" factor and is bile-inducing all at the same time. The screenplay is by Sean Anders and John Morris, with Anders also directing.
Will Ferrell films can be like a game of Russian Roulette, and I fully expected this to be truly awful. It wasn't, and as a Christmas comedy it is an OK watch... and thankfully significantly above "Jingle all the Way"!
(For the graphical review, please visit bob-the-movie-man.com or One Mann's Movies on Facebook. Thanks).
Remember when Chevy Chase got into all kinds of shenanigans during National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation? Well Will Ferrell does the same exact shtick in Daddy's Home 2. Ferrell's gifts as a physical comedian are evident. The difference is that Chase's movie was done with a bit more craft. Heck, it had an actual story mind you.
"2", with its clips of kids getting drunk on eggnog, a nativity scene being destroyed, Xmas lights getting caught in a snowblower, and captain "Sully" Sullenger making a small cameo, is a yuletide cash grab just like A Bad Moms Christmas (released ten days earlier). The films are eerily similar with Daddy's Home 2 being the gender-flipped version of "Christmas". With A Bad Moms Christmas, the males are reduced to forgotten caricatures as they harbor minimal dialogue and fade into the background. With "2", the females don't have much to do either in terms of the overall plot. They are merely around for decoration (ha-ha, get it?).
Listen, "2" may be PG-13 (as opposed to A Bad Moms Christmas having a hard R) and it may be more slapstick in nature. Don't be fooled though. These flicks are mirror images of each other. They are both using the holidays as a hook to capitalize on the success of the originals. Yup, Daddy's Home 2 isn't a "home" worth saving.
"2's" director (Sean Anders) sans production values and trouper, conflict coherency in favor of sloppy editing, too many characters (stepdads, stepmoms, grandpas, stepchildren, etc.), and perennial, movie star wattage. His "2" isn't an actual motion picture. It's more of a series of set-ups, designed to get the viewer to chuckle occasionally. Almost every scene in Daddy's Home 2 is manipulated (or inserted) onto the screen without a true reason for being. Oh and by the way, Ferrell's pseudo-clumsiness here is definitely not rooted in reality.
In the realm of casting, Anders brings in John Lithgow and Mel Gibson to play the weirdo dads to Mark Wahlberg and Ferrell. Gibson, who has always been a favorite of mine, has obviously not been forgiven by Hollywood yet. In his heyday, he would've never agreed to star in something as shambolic as Daddy's Home 2.
All in all, the final sequence in "2" involves everyone snowed in at a movie theater on Xmas day. As the whole cast belts out "Do They Know It's Christmas?", I realized that I need to picket the resurrection of every sequel from hear on out. Rating: 1 and a half stars.
**Men repeatedly kissing each other on the lips, the first five times i got it
**All conservative characters were gun toting load mouths that were unkind All the progressives were sensitive educated thoughtful and kind (in red shirts)
** A line of little girls waiting to kiss a boy character - thats OK, but a little boy in the same line waiting to kiss the little boy - not OK - gay children in movies - please stop!
The only reason I have 4 stars is that I did laugh and they poked fun of both sides, but there were lectures galore for the right along the way. I go to the movies to forget my problems, not to get a lecture from the left. Just leave me out of it and stop forcing your "progressive" agenda down my throat - please give it a rest!!! You guys in Hollywood better get it soon or you are going to repeatedly lose money.
Fun: If you remember the first movie, you know that Daddy's Home is a very fun, cute film for a majority of the family. That same atmosphere comes off in this sequel, bringing the youthful adventure of the first film, but with a holiday twist and a grandparent theme done right. Our directing team did a nice job of integrating all these new components into a fast-moving tale that provides simplistic laughs, hard hitting banter, and a few heartwarming moments that just make you feel good, or at least accomplished that you aren't incompetent like these dads.
The Story: Yes, surprisingly Daddy's Home 2 has a story, albeit a simplistic one that focuses on emphasizing many things not to do with your kids, and sneaking in a few life lessons along the way. The tale continues from where we left off with our two dads becoming friends and trying to live life peacefully. But like the trailers portray, their dads arrive for the holidays and bring a whole new set of challenges. During the journey of surviving the holidays, Dusty and Brad begin to unravel more of their backstory and fears, all while facing the challenges of parenting young kids. As these challenges start to taper off though, the important family themed lessons begin to get doled out, to hopefully establish respect at the difficulties of fatherhood and family. Cheesy and run of the mill, yes. Enjoyable though, absolutely.
Integration of Characters: With their extended cast comes challenges of balance, and Daddy's Home 2 did a nice job integrating all their characters into the mix. Unlike the mother version of this movie (Bad Mom's Christmas), Daddy's Home 2 manages to give all the characters stories that interlink, pushing each person to develop themselves on some, often messed up, level. Sure, the wives needed some more screen time and development, but even these diluted tales fit well into the movie and keep pace with the comedic energy of the movie. The Grandfathers are even more impressively pushed into the tale, not only providing launch points for the comedic one-liners, but also helping with Dusty and Brad's own progression. And the kids as well fit perfectly into the mix, bringing with them issues, comedic jabs, and a cuteness factor to keep things interesting.
Stupid Comedy: Yes, Comedy is often a genre loaded with stupidity, but the presentation is what's important (see Thor Ragnarok for good presentation). Daddy's Home 2 traversed the path of over the top, ridiculous slapstick that is so stupid and unbelievable at points. While movies can suspend reality, these stunts were a little too far-fetched for me. Even worse, is that the stunts and comedic devices were super repetitive, lacking any clever twists or delivery to warrant bragging about. And while the simple comedy can be fun at times, it's sad to see such gestures over used when other movies have learned the art of comedy.
Impressionable habits: Daddy's Home 2 has plenty of annoying character quarks to make you grind your teeth to the nerves. Unfortunately, many of these annoyances come in the form of the bratty kids and the cruel, selfish tactics that they flaunt so well. While older audience members will hopefully know right from wrong, younger audience members may find these antics repeatable to the point of making them habits. And much like the comedy, these habits are over exaggerated, a little extreme, and eye rolling by the second or third portrayal. The movie does a poor job of showing punishment for these habits, and does a poor job of showing the right approach to dealing with these flaws. Guess it is a Will Ferrell movie, though right?
Trailers spoiled: We know trailers ruin surprises, but Daddy's Home 2 has given away a majority of the laughs for this movie. While the plot is relatively safe, much of the comedy can be seen, for free mind you, in the four or five circulating trailers. The result are stale scenes that have already run the course before the film even starts. Fortunately, Mel Gibson's got some comedic gold hidden in the unaired sequences and the kids have a few zingers, but not enough to warrant this movie fresh if you watch television or YouTube enough.
Daddy's Home 2 doesn't deviate far from the formula that made the first one a success. Simplistic laughs, a nice family friendly story is all wrapped in the 90-minute run time to satisfy your movie craving. It's biggest strengths again are the fun atmosphere and well-balanced screen time of the cast. Unfortunately, these strengths are offset by ridiculous slapstick, impressionable annoyances, and stale comedy spoiled by the trailers. Certainly, this movie is a good holiday laugh fest, but this reviewer does not recommend a theater visit in his honest opinion, not with Thor 3 being much better in comedy.
My Scores are:
Comedy: 7.0 Movie Overall: 5.0
Ignore the posts that say 'hilarious' because it really isn't at any point...
Now, if the children repeat these things, will the parents laugh? How about what the young boy did after kissing the young girl? Do it in school and you will be tossed into a law suit.
Weird behavior between father and son, not to mention odd language. Mel Gibson acted drunk, not that he was suppose to be. Always laughing and showing bad adult behavior.
This definitely was not a movie for children under the age of 12 or 14. There were really young ones there at 5-6 years old and it hurt my heart to know these children were exposed to this type of behavior and their parents approving of it by taking them to it.
Great family friendly film with lots of slapstick comedy and whole lot of heartfelt holiday moments. 10/10
The first "Daddy's Home" was really funny, but this sequel is just a trainwreck. It is silly and contrived. The rivalry between Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell was what made the first one funny, but this time there is no more of these funny jokes. It tries too hard to be festive, and ends up backfiring because the cinema scene is just way over the top that made my eyes roll many times.
Daddy's Home 2 takes the broadly-drawn animosities of the first film and gives them a wider birth as Markie Mark and Wimpy Willy are visited by their like-minded fathers played by Mel Gibson and John Lithgow for Christmas. Looking for a way to get underneath everyone's skin, just because, Mel Gibson AirB&B's a rustic snow-swept cabin and eggs everyone into a blended family blowout. As you would expect the movie then devolves into clichéd comedic hijinks not funny since the Reagan Era to relay a message (I guess) not relevant since Archie Bunker was still on TV.
On its face, this movie has every glaring, stupid, simpering problem the first one did. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are still cardboard jumbles of male insecurity and chauvinism stuck in an ever-escalating game of one-upsmanship. The kids are still lingering afterthoughts who chime in only when the plot needs a shift in tone. The story itself still plays out like a tour of loosely connected contrivances laboring to maintain a PG-13 rating and Linda Cardellini still plays a feckless, inconsequential support figure. Admittedly, Cardellini does have a tiny bit more to do here but that comes at the expense of having her play opposite the wooden Alessandra Ambrosio – ouch.
What makes this movie so much worse however is the inclusion of Mel Gibson's character which somehow takes the tired affectations of Wahlberg's Dusty and strips them of everything resembling an adult. The actor may be pushing sixty-two but Gibson's toxic grandpa (or padre as he insists on calling himself) is a terror on the level of The Problem Child (1990). Never has there been a more irredeemably terrible character worthy of being pushed out onto an ice flow. Yet, the movie somehow thinks Dusty and Brad (Ferrell) are the ones that need to be emasculated, electrocuted and pelted with snowballs. Gibson does get shot once - so that's nice.
The film's big climax takes place in a movie theater. An interesting choice since it only serves to highlight the woeful fact that if you've gotten this far without walking out, you're definitely won't get your money back. The movie then ends in a syrupy sweet crescendo of sing-songy holiday cheer so forced it should be arrested for assault. The Song "Do They Know It's Christmas" was never played on heavy rotation at my house during the holidays, but after watching this monstrosity, I wanted to buy the record just so I have something physical to destroy. Maybe if I'm good all next year, I can treat myself to skeet shooting the Blu-ray of this derelict piece of bat droppings instead. Yes, I'll probably ask Santa for that.