The first instalment in the Daddy’s Home franchise was a surprise hit of the holiday season, taking in an impressive $242 million at the international box office, even when competing with a little film called Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Unfortunately, like Bad Moms, the sequel doesn’t quite live up to the first film, suffering from the introduction of new cast members and losing some of the comedic charms that made the first outing so great. Having heard some negative things from the US release of Daddy’s Home 2, I didn’t go into the film with very high hopes, and although the film won’t be on my Christmas film roster, it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting!
I am slightly worried about Will Ferrell‘s career, 2017 wasn’t the best year for him with The House and Zoolander 2 being awful, he hasn’t been in a great comedy in a while. He demonstrates his acting talents in this film, but there is nothing new in this sequel that we didn’t see in the first film. It is clear that if he wasn’t in this film it wouldn’t be anywhere near as good, and probably wouldn’t make anywhere near as much money. I did enjoy his relationship with John Lithgow who is the better of the two additions to the cast. Lithgow, like Ferrell, did feel a little exaggerated at times and their characters did become a bit grating and annoying as the film went on. It is amazing to see Lithgow’s range, going from The Crown to apparently appearing in the upcoming Pitch Perfect 3, he is a great character actor and I always look forward to his work.
I have never really seen Mark Wahlberg as a comedic actor, but he manages to hold up as the straight man against Farrell. I am looking forward to his upcoming film All The Money In The World as I prefer him in dramatic roles over comedic. I don’t really know who Mel Gibson was playing and I felt uncomfortable watching the actor after knowing his troublesome past. He was also very exaggerated, and not funny. The only scene that I found funny which included Gibson was the thermostat scene, although Lithgow and Ferrell contributed to the overall humour. I think Gibson needs to stick to directing, Hacksaw Ridge was one of the best films of last year, I’m not ready to see him in front of the camera yet.
The supporting cast was OK but there wasn’t anyone who stood out as a scene stealer. I thought we would have seen more of John Cena, who continues to show that he can handle himself in a comedic role, but his character was missing from the majority of the film. Although the final scenes seemed to be a direct commercial for Showcase Cinemas, Cena was hilarious as he is convinced to take part in the family celebrations because of his favourite Christmas song. Linda Cardellini rounds out the cast well, she isn’t given much to do but she has her moments.
This sequel feels tired and even though some of the jokes landed a few laughs around the audience, many of them didn’t get the intended reactions. There are a few jokes that use a large amount of CGI, which I only feel was a waste of money and an unnecessary increase to the budget. Writer Sean Anders returns to write this sequel, and like most of his other screenplays, the jokes rely on slapstick comedy rather than being clever. I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy the film, but with the talent involved, I was expecting more. I hope this is the end of the Daddy’s Home franchise, and with the box office numbers not reflecting the previous instalment, I doubt we will see these characters on the big screen again.
Click here to read all of our film reviews.