Two confessions: I have not seen “Daddy’s Home” and I am not a fan of Will Ferrell. Now that that is out in the open, let’s begin.
Picking up where the last film began, Dusty(Mark Wahlberg) and Brad(Will Ferrell) are working and succeeding at being co-dads to the children in their lives. However, in that way that history repeats itself, Dusty’s father Kurt(Mel Gibson) calls and informs him that he will be attending the annual holiday festivities. Which only makes Brad ecstatic due to his father Don(John Lithgow) also being in town. More dads, more fun?
“Daddy’s Home 2” might be a sequel and a formulaic one at that, but it at least brings the laughs. Whereas the first film was about the two fathers one-upping each other, here we have them mining the depths of mutual resentment in their relationship to comic effect, with more than a little assist from Mel Gibson’s Kurt.
The third film for Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell to work on together, “Daddy’s Home 2” utilizes the strengths of both actors. Mark Wahlberg’s tough guy with a marshmallow inside and Will Ferrell’s brand of physical comedy are used to great effect, especially when paired with Mel Gibson and John Lithgow.
This may not be a critically successful comedy, but it’s a comedy that knows the formula, uses it, and delivers the laughs. Comedy is a heightened mirror of our realities, and the dysfunction of this family is about as heightened as they come. We might not want them as our family, but we’ll watch and laugh knowing full well our family is capable of antics we believe to be comedy movie worthy.
If you’re looking for something to see during the upcoming holiday season, you could do worse than “Daddy’s Home 2.” It delivers on the laughs, the holiday spirited family resolution, all with something resembling a family-friendly comedy that the whole family can see.