It seems like the push for holiday movies, particular ones that revolve around Christmas, come earlier and earlier each year. While most families haven’t even finalized their Thanksgiving menu selections yet, we’re already seeing movies that are focused on and around December 25th. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg went toe-to-toe before eventually seeing eye-to-eye in the fractured family comedy Daddy’s Home (2015). It did quite well in the box office grossing over $150 million and there was no doubt that a sequel would be coming. Two years later the BFF fathers are back for seconds in Daddy’s Home 2, but this time they’re in for a different generation of headaches.
Brad (Will Ferrell) and Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) seem to have a pretty good handle on this “co-parenting business” after a rough and eventful beginning. They are truly dedicated to bonding for the sake and happiness of the kids. Things get a little layered here. Dusty was previously married to Sara (Linda Cardellini) and they share two children together. Sara is now married to Brad and they have a child together. Back to Dusty for a minute, he is married to the lovely Karen (Alessandra Ambrosio) who has a daughter of her own from a previous marriage to Roger (John Cena), a macho hothead that Dusty still doesn’t get along with. As if things aren’t complicated enough as Christmas draws near, both Brad and Dusty’s dads, Don (John Lithgow) and Kurt (Mel Gibson) come to town to make this one big blended holiday to remember.
As this new fatherly element wears on Brad and Dusty, their symbiotic bond begins to falter. As repressed feelings emerge, a family throw down is inevitable. If there’s any chance of salvaging this family gathering, all sides will need to reach deep inside of themselves and workout whatever has been ailing them over the years. The only thing that is certain is that nothing will go as planned and there will be lots of laughter along the way.
Much like its predecessor, Daddy’s Home 2 mostly operates from the male perspective of parenting leaving the ladies to shake their heads. The new additions, John Lithgow and Mel Gibson, give a wonderful jolt of fresh energy to the sequel. The interaction is wonderful and it’s very clear to see why these actors were cast. It’s easy to forget just how funny Mel Gibson can be but I doubt anyone will say that after seeing this one. The younger acting stars held their own as well. As with the first movie, Ferrell and Wahlberg do much of the heavy lifting but director Sean Anders makes sure that no one is left behind.
As far as holiday movies go, Daddy’s Home 2 should find a good deal of success, maybe even more than the first one. This is a funnier movie and it also has a few more heartfelt moments sprinkled in. The fact that it’s “only” rated PG-13 does not harm the enjoyment factor one bit. This is worth mentioning because maybe you have some early teen children are still willing to be seen in public with you. If that’s the case, this could be a fun time out. The laughs just keep on coming and there’s something for everyone it this to be enjoyed.
Daddy’s Home 2 is better than its 2015 original and should come away with some box office success. And staying the original for a moment, this one can stand on its own, so needing to see the first one before watching part 2 is not a requirement. It stands all on its own, although you will obviously appreciate the story and jokes a more having seen the first one. In my opinion, this is a much more enjoyable time out in the battle of the box office mamas and the papas out there. Head out there before getting stressed out thinking about Christmas shopping and enjoy yourselves for a couple of hours. Daddy’s Home 2 should bring a few grins to even the biggest Grinch you know.