Daddy’s Home 2
Directed by: Sean Anders
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, John Lithgow, Mel Gibson, Linda Cardellini, Scarlett Estevez and John Cena
Run Time: 1h 40min
3 ½ Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
If you’ve been burned by a sequel you thought would be amusing and it didn’t deliver, don’t let that experience keep you away. If you liked Daddy’s Home, be on the lookout for more of the same here. More of the same isn’t a bad thing. It’s the holiday’s and there’s nothing like a festive holiday comedy to share with the gang, or if your case happens to be that a film gives you a little break from that reality, that works, too.
In the first film, we meet the very epitome of cool, in dad Dusty (Wahlberg), and the easygoing, cordial stepdad to his children by the name of Brad (Ferrell). What unfolds is the story of two dad’s showing the difference in being a more confident and masculine male as opposed to being more modest or in touch with your famine side. The struggle is more within Brad as one might imagine. Immediately upon seeing Dusty, he feels as though he has already lost the fight.
Sara (Cardellini), the children’s mother, has learned to cope with them but it wasn’t easy at times. Now that it’s Christmas the men, who have worked out a pretty good system themselves, have decided that instead of dividing the children, they’ll have a ‘together Christmas.’ This decision is made after young daughter Megan, played by the ever-adorable Scarlett Estevez from TV’s Lucifer, says she doesn’t like Christmas because it’s not normal for her as it is for friends who don’t have to bounce from house to house.
The holiday also brings visits from grandpa’s Kurt (Gibson) and Jonah (Lithgow), who resemble one another as much as Dusty and Brad do. A suggestion is made to rectify this imbroglio they’re in by renting a vacation home away from home for a few days. Not only do they all have to continue being nice to one another up close but so do their fathers. For extra kicks, Kurt is negative and seems hellbent on causing problems, starting with asking Dusty how could he stand asking permission from another man to see his own children.
Brad’s father is the complete opposite. He’s supportive of everyone and gets all the love and attention a grandfather could want… deservedly so since Kurt isn’t the loving sort though Dusty has tried his best.
The family retreat creates many a hysterical scene from the actors, especially little Scarlett who knocks it out of the park whenever she interacts with anyone. This is also when the macho between the four men jettisons to eleven. In the audience, both men and women alike, will chuckle and truly appreciate the humor of a scene involving one of their other daughters ‘fiddling with the thermostat’ which sends all the men in the house into hysterics. Laughs were plentiful and I heard many an, ‘I’ve been there!’ comment from where I was sitting.
John Cena Makes an appearance near the end as another dad. Every time I see him in a comedic role I hope he gets one with of larger significance. However, maybe what makes it so striking is that he says something uncharacteristic of what he looks like and who he seems to be that it wouldn’t work, but I’d sign up to find out. His presence is strong and as the alpha male he’s used very well.
Though Daddy’s Home 2 has its downsides and moments that make you roll your eyes, it’s hard not to enjoy a Sean Anders film, even when he has Lithgow using silly terms such as ‘buttquack.’ Anders, who wrote Sex Drive, Hot Tub Time Machine and We’re the Millers, knows his way around a joke and how to deliver it. He directed and helped write the first Daddy’s Home and you’ll be glad it stayed in his hands this time around, too. He creates opportunities for the main cast to strut their stuff. He most likely told all involved that they could use his film as a vehicle to frolic, let loose and rejoice. That advice clearly worked from what they showed us in their performances.
Daddy’s Home 2 was quite good comparing it to other comedies this year. I rather liked it. This testosterone-filled comedy is, for the most part, is one to take your family to the movies to see this holiday season. Not only for the comedy but for the reason it shows you how far acting like someone you’re not will end up costing you in the end.