The first Daddy’s Home movie was far from a critical success. Personally, the film didn’t work for me. Its premise had potential, but the execution and uneven tonal balance threw all enjoyment out the window. Still, money speaks, and the $242 million box office intake made Paramount Executives very happy. Nearly two years later and we have Daddy’s Home 2, or Daddy’s Home Two as it’s listed on IMDb and credited as during the film’s opening title cards. But whatever. That isn’t important. Or maybe it is. Its awkward title card did throw me off a bit before the film even begun, so there’s that.
Much like the first film, Daddy’s Home 2, on paper (or electronic paper in this case) sounds like a comedy with potential. Will Ferrell and John Lithgow as an eccentric, overly excited father-son duo should be hilarious, and granted, their comedic chemistry is easily the best part of this movie, but everything else brings their admittedly terrific performances down. Mark Wahlberg and Mel Gibson are the film’s weak links. Wahlberg has charisma, and there are some chuckles here and there, but every scene Gibson is in falls flat on every level. There’s nothing funny about a misogynistic, ego-driven, racist pig telling little girls they belong in the kitchen, but that’s where most of his humour derives from.
Daddy’s Home 2 also retains its uneven tonal balance and misguided target audience that the first film struggled to succeed with. It’s not aimed at anybody. It just exists. The humour is too juvenile for teens or adults to connect with, but far too mature for kids to find funny, yet it’s advertised as a heartwarming Christmas comedy for the whole family. I will admit to laughing a few times, but most of the laughs come from the shock of “did they really just do that in a family film?” Act one is funny. Act two and most of act three isn’t. Then, we reach the finale, and it’s easily the best part of the film. I was in hysterics, even if it was occasionally for all the wrong reasons.
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