By Mark Saldana
Rating: 1 (Out of 4 Stars)
Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg have returned for a sequel to a comedy I found moderately funny, but overall mediocre. As much as I enjoyed these two actors in the hilarious movie The Other Guys, the overly cartoonish pratfalls and physical comedy of Daddy’s Home left me flat. Throw in a fairly transparent plot in the mix and the end result simply didn’t impress me. Well, as typical with comedy sequels, the filmmakers of Daddy’s Home 2, attempt to outdo the humor and antics of the predecessor. This strategy proved to be rather aggravating for me to sit through. The next installment of this movie franchise goes way over-the-top with the humor and performances so much that I was overjoyed when the end credits rolled.
After the events of the first film, Dusty Mayron (Mark Wahlberg) and Brad Whittaker (Will Ferrell) seem to have a very cordial relationship as “co-dads” to Megan (Scarlett Estevez) and Dylan (Owen Vaccaro), the children of Brad’s wife Sara (Linda Cardellini) and Dusty. Dusty has now married author Karen (Alessandra Ambrosio) and even has a stepchild of his own–Karen’s daughter Adrianna (Didi Costine). With the holidays coming up and the children tired of spending separate Christmas celebrations at their divorced parents’ homes, Brad and Dusty decide to have one Christmas for everyone together. As usual, Brad’s overly affectionate father Don (John Lithgow) arrives for the celebration. However, things get a bit more complicated, awkward and messy when Dusty’s estranged father, the gruff, macho, womanizing Kurt Mayron (Mel Gibson) arrives as well.
Written and directed by Sean Anders, who co-wrote with John Morris, Daddy’s Home 2 is a disastrous sequel that should not have been made. Everything that irritated me in the first film has been dialed up to eleven and the humor that does manage to work is barely in the movie. I seriously recall that I only laughed twice as this ridiculous excuse of a movie played out before me. The entire plot and story are just as transparent as those of the first film. That really doesn’t surprise me and neither does the fact that almost every comical scenario plays out so ridiculously overblown.
The same thing can be said about the performances by both Will Ferrell and John Lithgow and I actually happen to like both of these actors too. Ferrell’s exaggerated performance wasn’t a surprise, but the fact that I loathed Lithgow’s turn in the film came as a shock. Lithgow is such a gifted actor who can shine in comedy, as evident during his tenure on TV’s 3rd Rock From the Sun. However, after a few scenes in this film, I simply couldn’t stand his character or his performance of him. Mel Gibson pretty much just shows up for his role as Kurt Mayron. He adds very little range or dimension to the grumpy curmudgeon Kurt Mayron. Even Linda Cardellini appears constantly annoyed that she had to make this movie. Alessandra Ambrossio does very little with her role as Dusty’s wife Karen and even John Cena’s comic chops get wasted also. The only actor who actually gives a solid performance is Mark Wahlberg. He never overacts in the film and brings a genuine charisma to his character.
So, it probably should go without saying that I do not recommend this movie at all. If one already wishes to get in the holiday spirit, there are plenty of wonderful classics and comedies far more enjoyable than this movie. I sincerely hope that this is the last I have to see of these characters and that these talented actors find something way better to do.