Friday, November 10, 2017

Movie Review: "Daddy's Home 2" (2017)

Director: Sean Anders
Year: 2017
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

After Brad and Dusty decide to have a "together Christmas" so the kids can have a "normal" day, Dusty gets word his estranged father is coming into town which threatens to throw a wrench into their happy co-parenting plans.

The original "Daddy's Home" was not a good movie, but it made $242 million dollars at the worldwide box office, so a sequel was inevitable. "Daddy's Home 2" is once again directed by Sean Anders, who besides directing the original installment has also directed films like "Sex Drive" and "That's My Boy." Stellar resume. The vast majority of the original cast returns, including Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg who reprise their roles as Brad and Dusty, two feuding stepfathers who have become friends since bonding in the climax of the original movie. Also returning are Linda Cardellini, Owen Vaccaro and Scarlett Estevez as the wife/ex-wife and children of the two male leads. New to the series are John Lithgow and Mel Gibson, who play Brad and Dusty's respective fathers. Brad's dad Don is an amplified version of his highly emotional, highly talkative "kindness is the best policy" character, and Dusty's dad Kurt is an over-exaggerated version of the loner tough guy with an extra helping of womanizing, drinking, and absence thrown in for good measure.

As you can see, we weren't fans of the original "Daddy's Home," which we felt was a mean-spirited comedy elevated solely by a solid climatic ending, even though it had not earned it. As for part two of this "series that never needed a sequel," go in expecting the exact same formula from the first installment. It's one punch shy of a beat-for-beat remake of the first movie, but with more Christmas decorations and mistletoe jokes. "Haha, Brad is bad at sports and gives bad relationship advice." "Hahaha, Dusty doesn't like showing emotion soo0o0o0o it's funny whenever he does." "Oh look, Pepe randomly appeared at the airport." "OMG! One of their cars got totaled again!" "Uh oh, are they going to have a fistfight?"

The saving grace of this installment is John Lithgow, who has a couple of genuinely funny moments. Unfortunately, the 'overly affectionate old man who talks too much and kisses his adult son on the mouth' routine gets old pretty quickly. As for Mel Gibson, he literally just stands around raspily laughing like he's about to have a heart attack any second and scoffs anytime someone shows any smidgen of emotion or a slight appreciation for parenting with an open mind or sensitivity. He also buys his sociopath-in-training granddaughter a rifle and teaches his grandson how to sexually assault girls. But hey, the kid is only 8 years old, so it's cute when he does it...right?! He urges his grandson to "go up and kiss" the girl he likes because "she wants it," then instructs him to "smack her on the caboose" and yell some inappropriate phrase we cannot remember because we were too busy being disgusted. This is the wrong damn time for this movie. The adult female characters have absolutely nothing to do and their presence offers nothing. They get a couple of throwaway gags and that's it.

"Daddy's Home 2" is barely saved by its silly, ridiculous ending with a climactic scene that did make us smile, but a good ending does not excuse the previous hour and a half 's worth of mostly unfunny garbage. It's a cynical trainwreck and you should not give it your money.


My Rating: 3/10
BigJ's Rating: 3.5/10
IMDB's Rating: ~6.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ~15%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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