Daddy's Home Two: Film Review
Cast: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson, John Lithgow, Linda Cardellini
Director: Sean Anders
There's a moment in the ill-conceived and pathetically executed sequel to Daddy's Home where Linda Cardellini's character says she'll "leave you two morons" to it.
That's a general feeling as the lack of laughter malaise falls over you like soft snow in the weak sequel to the already pushing it first film from a couple of years back.
In this latest, it's coming up to Christmas time (much like Bad Moms Christmas) and Ferrell's baby Brad and his co-father Dusty (Wahlberg, initially sneery but eventually lost) decide the kids are suffering being buffered between parents.
So in the spirit of the holiday season, they decide to hold a together Christmas - which is then scuppered by the arrival of Dusty's absentee macho father Kurt, who's apparently a NASA shuttle pilot. When Kurt mocks Dusty for his softer approach to parenting and scoffs at Brad's wimpier father (John Lithgow), the rivalries between the pair are stirred up again.
Daddy's Home Two is a weak, unfunny film that provides zero laughs unless you're completely off your face on seasonal cheer. It's a family feud that lacks passion.
It has a truly bizarre finale, which tries to celebrate the joy of going to the movies and has everyone singing Band Aid's ode to famine, Do They Know It's Christmas, in a foyer.
In between that, there are barely any laughs to fill even the worst Christmas crackers on sale.
Standard, formulaic and in parts a retread of the first, the film's got nothing of a heart and very little in terms of memorable. Firing slapstick at Ferrell seems to be lazy this time around, and the moments that are supposed to see you spluttering merely see you end up yawning.
Gibson adds a bit of energy to this, but even his presence can't add much to Wahlberg and Ferrell's apparent coasting through the script.
There's a bizarre pro-NRA gun moment in the film too which seems desperately at odds given America's record with shootings this year and feels ill-conceived and executed.
All in all, Daddy's Home Two is a series of episodic psychological battles which give you little and feel like they've been contrived by committee rather than anything else.
It's a very average, very middle-of-the-road fare, that depressingly may amuse some.
But in many ways, Daddy's Home Two is one hell of a turkey that sticks in your throat like other leftovers at this time of the year.