Daddy’s Home 2 Review

Never bring high ex­pec­ta­tions to com­edy se­quels. Why’s that? Be­cause a lot of times, they don’t end up be­ing bet­ter than or even just as hi­lar­i­ous as their pre­de­ces­sors. It’s re­ally tough for Hol­ly­wood to bring back that ini­tial au­di­ence to en­joy the same char­ac­ters with a new set of hi­jinks that might en­sue. So, what bet­ter way to start off the hol­i­day sea­son with a se­quel I’m pretty sure not every­one was clam­or­ing for, “Dad­dy’s Home 2”?

In the fol­low-up to the 2015 hit, Brad (Will Fer­rell) and Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) have joined forces to be­come co-par­ents to pro­vide Dusty’s kids with the per­fect Christ­mas. But their new­found part­ner­ship gets put to the test when Dusty’s old school ma­cho dad (Mel Gib­son) and Brad’s gen­tle fa­ther (John Lith­gow) ar­rive to turn the hol­i­days up­side down.

Mel Gibson, Mark Wahlberg, John Lithgow, and Will Ferrell in Daddy's Home 2 (2017)

The first “Dad­dy’s Home” was­n’t that good of a com­edy, in my opin­ion. There were a few laughs that caught me, but other than that, it was just a 98-minute long one-note joke. But I still was­n’t sur­prised that a se­quel was an­nounced, con­sid­er­ing the orig­i­nal made $150 mil­lion do­mes­ti­cally. Was there some kind of strat­egy in hav­ing this and “A Bad Moms Christ­mas,” (which I still haven’t seen,) com­ing out a week apart? They both share the same premise: ex­tended fam­i­lies com­ing to­gether.

But the trailer (which I saw SO many times this past sum­mer), ac­tu­ally got me to laugh a num­ber of times, but I just knew it was gonna get dopey quickly.

And to no sur­prise what­so­ever, “Dad­dy’s Home 2” is just like your grand­mother burn­ing the an­nual fruit­cake.

The story it­self is so for­mu­laic; it goes for that pre­dictabil­ity fac­tor and you’ll pretty much know how every­thing will wrap up in the end: with a nice funny bow on top. It seems like di­rec­tor Sean An­ders and his co-writer John Mor­ris did­n’t have the brain­power to think of an orig­i­nal idea that has­n’t been played out be­fore.

Mel Gibson, Mark Wahlberg, John Lithgow, and Will Ferrell in Daddy's Home 2 (2017)

One of a few things that did work in “Dad­dy’s Home 2” is that Fer­rell and Wahlberg still work well on screen to­gether. Both of them have those comedic chops, even though they start to wa­ver as the film goes on. They’re def­i­nitely bet­ter this sec­ond time around. They kept me from truly hat­ing the movie.

There’s re­ally noth­ing in ei­ther of the fam­i­lies to at­tach to. Linda Cardellini still does­n’t get enough to do in her role, just like be­fore, which is dumb be­cause she’s so tal­ented. The stuff in­volv­ing the kids and Dusty’s fam­ily never ceases to crack me up. And if there’s one thing to re­mem­ber about “Dad­dy’s Home 2,” John Cena shows up, repris­ing his role at the end of the first film.

Lith­gow was per­fect cast­ing as Fer­rel­l’s dad Don. He does get an­noy­ing when he’s first in­tro­duced, but ac­cord­ing to Gib­son, that’s the point.

If there was any­thing to hope­fully make this the least bit tol­er­a­ble or even funny, you would think it’d be Gib­son. Un­for­tu­nately, he was per­haps the worst thing about the movie. His char­ac­ter, Kurt, was just un­lik­able from the very be­gin­ning, and the lines of crude di­a­logue he gives were awk­ward, not funny. How could some­one go from di­rect­ing “Hack­saw Ridge,” earn­ing a Best Di­rec­tor nom­i­na­tion and tem­porar­ily lead­ing him back in Hol­ly­wood’s grace, to be­ing in a shame­less com­edy?

Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell in Daddy's Home 2 (2017)

None of the hu­mor re­ally kicked in for me, es­pe­cially the first half. They tried to mar­ket this for fam­i­lies as a fun watch for every­one. I highly dis­agree with that fact, just like with the first film. To get a PG-13 rat­ing, the film does­n’t go full out with the jokes, and a ma­jor­ity of them are very an­noy­ing to sit through. Just be­cause you re­peat a joke from the first film does­n’t mean it works every time in the fol­low-up. From what I can eas­ily re­mem­ber, there were a cou­ple chuckle-wor­thy mo­ments. Most of the laughs are very forced, with dumb slap­stick hu­mor that gets old very fast.

One of many scenes that proved com­pletely un­nec­es­sary in­volves a hunt­ing scene with Dusty’s daugh­ter. Just watch­ing it un­fold was ab­solutely ridicu­lous, aside from the fact that this is­n’t the type of movie to showoff some­thing gun-re­lated.

Even when “Dad­dy’s Home 2” tries for those tra­di­tional hol­i­day film sen­ti­men­tal mo­ments, they’re not earned when they’re be­ing brushed over with a line that just does­n’t work.

Aside from all this, “Dad­dy’s Home 2” tem­porar­ily ru­ined Jour­ney’s “Open Arms” for me.

Over­all, “Dad­dy’s Home 2” is­n’t worth check­ing out, un­less you re­ally en­joyed what the first film had to of­fer. It has a tal­ented cast, but that tal­ent is just wasted on the low­brow ma­te­r­ial that’s brought to them. My ad­vice: watch a bet­ter Christ­mas com­edy.

Dad­dy’s Home 2” man­aged to be worse than its pre­de­ces­sor, of­fer­ing noth­ing new be­sides a mean-spir­ited hol­i­day premise with un­funny, forced laughs.

Grade: D+

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