Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, Mel Gibson, John Lithgow, Linda Cardellini, Scarlett Estevez, John Cena 9 (Rated PG – 100 min).
After the over-enthusiastic response to the original Daddy’s Home (2015), it was inevitable a sequel would emerge and just like the recent Bad Moms 2, the second instalment is also disguised as a Christmas movie.
Brad (Will Ferrell) still happily married to Sara, now calls Dusty (Mark Wahlberg), Sara’s ex-husband, a friend after bickering throughout the first film. The pair decide to have the holiday season as one big extended family until both their own dad’s decide to arrive at the same time for Yuletide celebrations.
The kids are all delirious with anticipation of the grandfathers who may bring extra presents, however Dusty in particular, is wary of his old man’s real intentions. Brad over expresses his affection for his dad except he’s wondering why mum didn’t travel too.
Not quite in the league of classic National Lampoons Christmas Vacation (1989) or even Ferrell himself as ELF (2003). But when the bunch take off to a snow covered cabin on a whim, PG rated pratfalls and hilarity ensue.
Redemption may be granted eventually for Australia’s own Mel Gibson (who recently directed Academy Award nominee Hacksaw Ridge), seen here as the mischievous single senior Kurt. The comic timing he so excellently displayed in such sidesplitting hits Maverick (1994) and What Women Want (2000), he’s still got all the right moves.
The entire cast seem like it must have been fun on set as it shows right down to the kid actors who are quite convincing. Especially of note, Scarlett Estevez as Megan showing potential of bigger things to come.
Did we require a sequel: NO. Is it a crowd pleaser: YES. If I was 11, I would find it hilarious but unfortunately the real jokes are too few on my comedy scale of chuckles. Retro tune ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ supplies an amusing singalong scene inside a cinema foyer just after a quick Liam Neeson cameo.
Goodwill messages are thrown around in the finale like all loving family-oriented stories do, possibly triggering a tear or two in harmony. It took me until the very end to get into the spirit. Bar humbug indeed.
Shane A. Bassett