Daddy's Home 2 Another Fun but Futile Sequel
- Ryan Duncan Crosswalk.com Entertainment Editor
- 2017 9 Nov
Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are in perfect harmony throughout this zany, off-the-walls comedy, but even they can't stop Daddy's Home 2 from becoming another tired and unnecessary sequel. 2.5 out of 5.
Picking up where the last movie left off, Brad Whitaker (Ferrell) and Dusty Mayron (Wahlberg) have successfully transitioned into their roles as co-dads to a blended family. Despite a few minor hiccups, both men feel they have managed to create a loving and stable environment for their children. However, when their daughter confesses her unhappiness at the separate Christmas visits during a school pageant, Dusty and Brad decide it's time to merge their individual parties into one gigantic celebration. Things immediately take a turn for the worst when both men discover they'll also be hosting their fathers over the holiday. For Dusty, this means enduring the philandering and foul-mouthed Kurt (Mel Gibson), while Brad enables the fussy and oblivious Don (John Lithgow). Then, just when things couldn't get any more chaotic, another stepdad (John Cena) drops by to visit.
Daddy’s Home 2 certainly deserves points for casting chemistry. Ferrell and Wahlberg are a blast together, and the two men devour every scene they share with a kind of manic energy. Gibson and Lithgow only add further charisma by delivering hilariously over-the-top portrayals of their respective characters. Even Cena manages to slip in a few laughs during his brief tenure on screen. Together, the actors create a solid foundation in a film which is largely composed of fluff.
It helps that Daddy's Home 2 has excellent comedic timing as well. The slapstick antics will remind some viewers of an old-fashioned Warner Brothers cartoon, with punchlines that strike at lightning speed. It’s all about being fun and doesn't ask the audience to think too hard.
Ironically, Daddy’s Home 2 suffers from many of the same problems as Bad Moms Christmas, which could be seen as this movie's spiritual sister. For example, neither sequel was really all that necessary to begin with. The original Daddy’s Home was a middling comedy with a few shallow lessons about fatherhood, and the second installment just has characters retreading old ground. There are no big surprises here, only the standard formula.
Making matters worse is the fact that Daddy’s Home 2 tries to pass itself off as a lighthearted Christmas movie about family (think Christmas Vacation) but introduces elements which are anything but light. Absentee fathers, divorce, learning to discipline step-children, handling bad influences in your child's life; all of these subjects make an appearance only to get shrugged off by movie’s end. It’s a bit uncomfortable, not to mention frustrating, when these characters refuse to engage or grow.
Christian Worldview Elements / Spiritual Themes
As mentioned, Daddy’s Home 2 does contain a few lessons about providing a stable and loving home for children and step-children. The characters all genuinely want to be a family even if they aren't related by blood, and there is a strong message at the film’s end about supporting and appreciating co-parents. We also see how Kurt's selfish lifestyle has taken an emotional toll on Dusty. Later, Kurt admits he was a bad father and encourages Dusty to be a better parent than he was.
Other than that, the families briefly take part in a living nativity scene, but this breaks down once Dusty and Brad begin arguing over the role of Joseph.
CAUTIONS (may contain spoilers)
- MPAA Rating: PG-13 for suggestive material and some language
- Language/Profanity: A lot of cursing and lewd insults, particularly from Kurt and Dusty, B*lls, Sh*t, Bad *ss, H*ll yeah, B*stard, D*mn, D*ck Head, B*tches, a man gives another man the finger, the Lord’s name is taken in vain, and a joke about a duck's butt.
- Sexuality/Nudity: Talk of underwear, Dusty’s wife dresses provocatively, a girl wears a shirt with an exposed stomach which inspires her younger sister to do the same, a joke about two dead hookers, some talk about “the talk”, Brad walks around in a bathrobe, Kurt gives a woman a foot rub, Kurt is a womanizer who is implied to have had sex with multiple women, Brad accidently moons some diners (he’s wearing underwear), men are seen in their underwear, talk about bed wetting, talk about French kissing, Kurt gives his grandson problematic dating advice, euphemisms for male and female genitalia, two men talk while standing in front of urinals, a boy asks for advice on girls, later that boy reveals he has a crush on his step-sister and kisses her, after that he is seen under a mistletoe kissing a line of girls which also contains one boy, two men kiss frequently.
- Violence/Frightening/Intense: A lot of slapstick comedy, Brad is electrocuted and killed but brought back (the scene is played for a laugh), wolves surround Don, Don has a black and frostbitten foot, Kurt tries to buy children a gun, later he succeeds in arming his granddaughter for a hunting trip but she accidentally shoots him in the arm instead, later she shoots two turkey’s off screen, two men grapple together, a snowball fight, and a hilariously violent Liam Neeson Christmas movie is depicted.
Drugs/Alcohol: Adults are seen drinking beer and liquor, the inside of a bar is shown, some eggnog with rum in it, two children drink the laced eggnog and are later depicted drunk.
The Bottom Line
RECOMMENDED FOR: Fans of Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson, or John Lithgow; blended families with adult children; fans of the original Daddy's Home; those looking for a light, funny movie to pass the time.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR: Families with younger children; conservative audiences; those saving their money for award-oriented movies; those uncomfortable with profane language.
Daddy's Home 2, directed by Sean Anders, opens in theaters November 10, 2017. It runs 98 minutes and stars Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, Mel Gibson, John Lithgow, John Cena, Linda Cardellini and Alessandra Ambrosio. Watch the trailer for Daddy's Home 2 here.
Ryan Duncan is Entertainment Editor for Crosswalk.com.
Publication date: November 9, 2017
Image courtesy: ©Paramount