With comedy sequels, the cast is usually bigger, and the gag jokes try to go even further; and, of course, Daddy’s Home 2 accomplishes both of those things, but with bad results. Personally, I enjoyed Daddy’s Home. It wasn’t the best comedy, but it was certainly one of Will Ferrell’s funniest movies in recent years. And when I heard that Mel Gibson and John Lithgow joined the cast for Daddy’s Home 2, my anticipation went from nonexistent to moderately excited. However, Daddy’s Home 2 is another swing and miss from Ferrell (and Mark Wahlberg to a slight extent), whose spiraling downward trend of bad comedies is on the same trajectory as Adam Sandler’s (yeah, I went there).
Father and stepfather Dusty and Brad join forces to make Christmastime perfect for the children. Their newfound partnership soon gets put to the test when Dusty’s old-school, macho dad and Brad’s gentle father arrive to turn the holiday upside down.
You can probably guess how the plot of Daddy’s Home 2 will play out right from the get-go, but you’re still watching in hopes that the movie’s spurts of comedy will make you chuckle. Unfortunately, instead of relying heavily on one-liners and insults like the first movie, Daddy’s Home 2 dishes out more gags and slapstick humor, which gets tiresome by the end of the movie’s first act. Coupled with a straightforward story that adds little gravy to the foundation built in the first movie, there’s no legitimate reason this comedy sequel should exist. And with the first movie, it ended with a tease of an eventual confrontation between Ferrell and Wahlberg’s father figures against another father, played by John Cena (who, the more we see of him, is a surprisingly good comedic actor). But where is he in Daddy’s Home 2? He’s shoe-horned into the movie’s boresome third act; a sequel in which Ferrell and Wahlberg square off with Cena would have made for a much better movie.
What’s more disappointing than the change in humor tactics in Daddy’s Home 2? The grandfather characters played by Gibson and Lithgow. The previously stated synopsis ends by saying the grandfathers of Ferrell and Wahlberg’s characters arrive to turn the holiday upside down; but the problem is their arrival does everything but that. And that’s not the fault of either Gibson or Lithgow, because they were given a lazy script that offers little for them to chew on. And while Gibson as Wahlberg’s father is the movie’s lone bright spot, he’s given few funny lines because the movie focuses more so on Lithgow’s character and his new developments, which by the end of the movie go unresolved; this unbalanced look at the grandfathers further hinders Gibson’s role, since his grandfather role is much cooler to delve into (and certainly draws more laughs when they rarely show up).
In movies past (Daddy’s Home, The Other Guys), Ferrell and Wahlberg made for great chemistry on screen, but that’s nowhere to be found in this bad apple of a comedy. And as a holiday-themed movie, Daddy’s Home 2 winds up on Santa’s naughty list. While that might be the case, there are a few good movies out right now that are certainly worth your time and money (Only the Brave, Thank You for Your Service). But Daddy’s Home 2? Don’t bother with this this lump of coal.