Audiences shouldn’t spend their hard-earned money on the downright boring “Daddy’s Home 2.”
The film details the Christmas adventures of father and stepfather Dusty and Brad, portrayed by Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell respectively, as they attempt to organize a joyous Christmas celebration for their family. Their plans crumble when both their fathers decide to visit. Brad’s father — portrayed by John Lithgow — is painfully sentimental, while Dusty’s father, portrayed by Mel Gibson — is an apathetic, villainous fiend determined to end Dusty and Brad’s friendship.
Most viewers won’t approach Sean Anders’ “Daddy’s Home 2” with expectations of a cinematic masterpiece. A few chuckles isn’t too much to ask for in a film starring Ferrell and Wahlberg. Unfortunately, the film only provides fleeting moments of amusement during the 1-hour-40-minute running time.
Ferrell and Wahlberg have initially enjoyable comedic chemistry. Their conflicting back-and-forth banter entertains — at least for a couple of scenes.
Some scenes involving Ferrell — such as a sequence involving him attempting to cut down a Christmas tree with a chainsaw — are undeniably entertaining. The slapstick comedy in “Daddy’s Home 2” occasionally generates laughs, but only in a select few moments, all of which feature Ferrell.
The remainder of the film drags, lulling viewers to sleep with predictable situations and failed attempts at comedy.
In particular, Gibson’s character disgusts rather than entertains. His sexist, misogynistic dialogue, including frequent jokes about sexual harassment, remains cringe-worthy throughout the film.
Lithgow’s affectionate yet clueless character has comedic potential, but receives notably less screen time than Gibson. The film places greater emphasis on Gibson’s satanic character, rendering Lithgow to the background.
“Daddy’s Home 2” revels in cynicism, parodying rather than celebrating typical family values.
The film’s later attempts at representing family-friendly values are too little, too late. The preceding distasteful humor is difficult to overlook — destroying any emotional attachment to the one-dimensional characters.
“Daddy’s Home 2” might entertain if viewed on cable for 10 minutes. If viewed in its entirety, the film will provide viewers with more mental anguish than holiday cheer.
Rating: 1.5/5 Grizzled Mel Gibsons