“Daddy’s Home 2” is familiar, but a whole lot of fun


courtesy of IMDb

Trevor Tyle, Staff Reporter

When you have a movie starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, it’s almost bound to be somewhat funny no matter how cheesy it is.

The duo previously co-starred in “The Other Guys” and “Daddy’s Home,” giving a solid indication of their chemistry. With the release of the latter film’s holiday-themed sequel, “Daddy’s Home 2,” Ferrell and Wahlberg prove their chemistry doesn’t falter for a moment.

The original film, released in 2015, is pretty straightforward—it’s dad versus stepdad. After Sara (Linda Cardellini), a mom of two, marries Brad (Ferrell), her children’s biological father Dusty (Wahlberg) returns which leads to the children’s father and stepfather competing for their affection.

By “Daddy’s Home 2,” Brad and Dusty have put aside their differences—in fact, they’re almost friends. However, the holidays unsurprisingly bring out the worst in them. After deciding to celebrate Christmas together for the sake of their children, Brad and Dusty’s fathers (John Lithgow and Mel Gibson, respectively) decide to impose on the festivities.

While Brad and his father get along almost too well—the pair greet each other with a lengthy kiss on the lips—Dusty and his father, Kurt, have a more incompatible relationship triggered by Kurt’s crude remarks and lack of self-control. To make matters worse, Roger (John Cena), the father of Dusty’s stepdaughter shows up, creating what may be one of the family’s most chaotic Christmases yet.

The film is undeniably cheesy, but in a (mostly) good way. Though it may be one of many comedies with little substance to it, it serves its purpose. It may not be the most original idea—“A Bad Moms Christmas” is essentially the same film, except with, well, moms—but it’s still unsurprisingly entertaining. While it lacks the classic feel of films like “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” or “Elf,” take it for what it’s worth.

On the subject of the latter, audiences will be quick to pick up on some subtle nods to Ferrell’s most notable Christmas film. At one point in the film, his character leaves to look for his father, who the family somehow has forgotten in the middle of the woods while trying to find a Christmas tree. Of course, this calls for him to begin repeatedly whining the word “dad” in typical Buddy the Elf fashion.

Though much of the humor is based on the ridiculousness of cast members like Ferrell and Wahlberg, Gibson is actually the standout member of the ensemble cast. If Gibson being able to keep a straight face while telling a joke to children that begins with, “Two dead hookers wash up on the shore…” doesn’t indicate his remarkable acting skills, I’m not sure what does. His forthright sarcasm and brutal honesty are the cherry on top for the Oscar winner, whose role in this film is a refreshing change from the more serious works with which he is often associated.

Overall, “Daddy’s Home 2” has its ups and downs, but its all-star cast and indisputable humor make it worth the ride. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a film fronted by Ferrell and Wahlberg—foolish, festive and a whole lot of fun.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars