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Film Review: Daddy's Home 2

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Daddy’s Home 2 lives up to expectations. Maybe that’s not saying much considering it was surrounded by very low ones, nevertheless the film was not a total waste of time.

Yes, Daddy’s Home 2 is forgettable, but it's also warm, festive and made up of a cast that could make the worst rubbish somewhat entertaining.

Will Ferrell is the film’s main source of comedy, and provides you with the majority of laughs throughout the 110 minutes of runtime. Ferrell’s movies have taken us on a strange journey over the years. With as many hits as misses on his resume, he is still thought of as a dependable presence in otherwise absurd movies. However, this is definitely not up to the calibre Anchorman or Stepbrothers.

Daddy’s Home 2 is not worse than the first film, but it’s still not very good. Its predecessor, 2015’s Daddy’s Home, paired Ferrell (Brad) with Mark Wahlberg (Dusty) in a battle of Dad vs Step-Dad. The chemistry between Ferrell and Wahlberg makes it worth watching but the film leaves very little impression after it finishes. Therefore, in order to spice things up, Daddy’s Home 2 introduces us to two new ‘daddies’ in the form of Mel Gibson (Kurt) and John Lithgow (Jonah).

Lithgow is even more of a softy than Ferrell. His character is a sensitive man, unafraid to affectionately kiss his grown son on the lips or dish out hugs to strangers. You must give credit to the casting for this role as well, Lithgow was absolutely who I could see being the parent of Will Ferell’s character. Moreover, the unveiling of Jonah’s failed marriage is a rare moment of pathos in the film.

On the other hand, Gibson is even more of a toxic manchild than Wahlberg. His character Kurt, is a retired astronaut, and the only pleasure he seems to take is from destroying the morals, friendships and families of everyone around him. So naturally, he lies to Brad and Dusty to get them to hate each other again. Nevertheless, Gibson brings some of the best comedic moments to the film; this is mainly because his character was playing into the Mel Gibson tough guy persona and it feels more natural than the other characters.

The gameplan for this movie was clear. Daddy’s Home 2 hoped to up the ante by upping the cast list. However, its plot too closely follows the original to stand out. Most of the same fundamental jokes are repeated and you feel as though you’ve sat through this all before.

Ultimately, the film feels way to cluttered, and can be compared to a combination of Meet the Fockers meets, well, Daddy’s Home the original. If you enjoyed the first one, you'll probably be a fan of the second. Mel Gibson and John Lithgow were both fun additions to the cast, but their talent alone is not enough to elevate this film above mediocrity. Its strong cast keeps this film afloat and is perhaps the only reason why Daddy’s Home 2 reached its ceiling of potential; nevertheless this ceiling was extremely low.

Daddy's Home 2 is out now, distributed by Paramount.

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