Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review
Sequel to a movie that really didn’t need a sequel but that earned enough money to garner one anyway, Daddy’s Home 2 is exactly what you’d expect: a generic, largely unfunny romp that can easily, and probably should be, skipped by all but the least discerning of audience members.
The original Daddy’s Home wasn’t exactly a comedy classic, but it was mildly entertaining and harmless enough for a one-time viewing. It was a film that worked more because of its premise (Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell squaring off over the title of Best Dad) than the final product, which had its moments but was unevenly funny and rarely if never bold in its delivery.
Daddy’s Home 2 is much the same—now that Wahlberg and Ferrell have worked out their issues, their dads (Mel Gibson and John Lithgow) arrive to cause more chaos and conflict—only even less consistently funny and immediately forgettable. Though it has bursts of humor that hit home—think about that time your dad occasionally landed a good joke for a change—the movie, helmed by returning director and co-writer Sean Anders, has long stretches that are shockingly bland.
Given the talent involved, it’s truly disappointing (but not surprising) that Daddy’s Home 2 isn’t at least moderately funny throughout. Mel Gibson could have been a solid addition, but he brings absolutely nothing to the story. John Lithgow is better, but his one-note character uses up his charm in his first scene. Ferrell lays the shtick on strong in a desperate attempt to squeeze some kind of comedic juice from the screenplay, but with him flailing, Wahlberg’s straight-man routine doesn’t really work. John Cena, who has proven to be a comedic gem in recent years, is almost completely wasted in a lesser role, while Linda Cardellini isn’t given much to do.
Daddy’s Home 2 works best when it lets loose and goes full-on zany, but the movie rarely goes that route, defaulting to generic humor and lame physical comedy. The ending is arguably the best part of the film because it’s just loopy enough to stand about the film’s overall mediocrity, but it isn’t enough to save Daddy’s Home 2 from being what it is: a sequel that doesn’t need to exist.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.