I'll tell you what I don't want for Christmas, I don't want to watch petulant men-children running around in a tatty and wholly un-funny film that's simply a regurgitated version of its equally mediocre predecessor. Lately it seems that Hollywood has forgotten its knack for comedy Christmas films; having sat through both Daddy's Home 2 and the new Bad Moms instalment I can conclude that such sequels are not worthy of being filmed let alone shown to the public. This confusing and utterly predictable rendition of a domestic comedy, featuring blended families, proves to stand amongst the many Christmas films of the year that certainly didn’t fill me with any form of Christmas joy.
Instead I'm left with a disappointed and thoroughly disillusioned view; Daddy's Home 2 produces as much fun and amusement as a rotting reindeer carcass. The film follows the lives of Dusty aka Mr Macho muscle man (Mark Wahlberg) and the annoyingly innocent Brad (Will Ferrell) in their quest to placate their wooden and equally brattish children/step children with the best Christmas ever. Unfortunately for them, they are joined by their identical fathers (Mel Gibson and John Lithgow) who, throughout the film, serve to be nothing more than a predictable plot device and the older stereotypes of their sons, oh, as well as their "kissing partners".Don’t ask it’s not funny anyway.
Almost every interaction held between Ferrell and his sexier counterpart, Wahlberg, consisted of simple yet boring back and forth dialogue that became tedious twenty minutes into the runtime. At one point, they even spend five minutes talking about the temperature of a thermostat, what on God’s earth is funny about a thermostat? This is followed by Will Ferrell getting emotionally and physically abused in some way or another by a medley of festive trappings; be they a snowball, a Christmas sleigh, a falling plastic reindeer or even an Electric Christmas tree. Ferrell, much like the audience, just can’t seem to catch a break from such drivel.
Paired with Gibson’s annoying laugh and Lithgow’s over-indulgent and equally sickly parenting and we have the makings of what seems to be a lesson in how-not-to-be-a-bad-parent rather than that of a Christmas comedy. Wooden acting by both wives throughout the film (Linda Cardellini and Alessandra Ambrosio) certainly doesn’t add the quality or direction the picture so desperately needed. Instead, we are treated to even more examples of parental misconduct when children are found drunk in a nativity and/or kissing step-sisters: the subject of further corniness and below-the-belt funniness that just wasn’t necessary.
Aside from the typical whininess and brash natures that one has now come to expect from Ferrell and Wahlberg characters the film still attempts to lend itself to comedy. Some moments were actually funny however they're underpinned by repetitive scenes, monotonous dialogue and simply over-exaggerated characters. It's therefore no surprise this collection of formulaic scenes disintegrates into the tatty and naturally unfunny Christmas mess that is Daddy's Home 2. The idea of even casting Mel Gibson in a comedy produces just as much toxicity as that of a Christmas Nuclear fall-out.
Verdict: A boring regurgitation of what was already a half-hearted comedy the first time around. Dividing laughter, doubling fathers... who said Hollywood’s Christmas formula was broken?