Daddy’s Home 2

Review by David Jenkins @daveyjenkins

Directed by

Sean Anders

Starring

Mark Wahlberg Mel Gibson Will Ferrell

Anticipation.

The trailer was just silly enough to raise a light smirk.

Enjoyment.

Feels like it was made as a contractual obligation for all parties involved.

In Retrospect.

Moronic in the extreme. No parts here to salvage.

This dire sequel filled with mechanically-reclaimed comedy marks a depressing low point for Will Ferrell.

At Little White Lies towers, we, like many other journalistic outlets, rate films by using the time-honoured star rating system. That is, five stars denotes the movies we adore and one star for the movies that we absolutely don’t adore. The question often arises: “is it possible to give a film zero stars?” That is, to suggest that it offers no apparent redeeming features at all.

The answer is not really. On a purely technical level, we can’t administer zero stars because our online content management system would read that as a fault – as if we’d neglected to include a piece of pertinent information on the page. But on a critical level too, zero stars does seem a mite drastic – to suggest that some artistic endeavour or other has a completely neutral value. Almost as if it doesn’t exist within the space-time continuum.

Let’s draw on the film Daddy’s Home 2 as an example here. During it’s 100 minute run time there is probably about two minutes of material that could be described as passable. By “passable”, that means not actively bad. So on a 100 point scale, we would have to say that the film earns two out of 100, which means that it would be unfair to award the film zero stars. In fairness, the film has 0.1 stars, but we’re not able to work with decimal points, so at the top and bottom of the scale, things are rounded up.

Even though, as you can see, we have given this film a deserved one star out of five, the reality is that it’s closer to zero than one. It feels necessary to make that point clear before moving forward. Let’s not mince words: this film is an abomination, an exploding Christmas white dwarf of awful which offers no obvious rationale for either its purpose or existence. The final 10 minutes are so obscene as to boarder on the surreal. It almost achieves some kind of inverse transcendence – like the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey, but where the evolutionary process is dialled backwards instead of forwards.

Will Ferrell, once as reliable as a vintage Volkswagen when it comes to screen comedy, goes through the manchild motions as swaddling, over emotional patriarch Brad. It’s a wonder why he didn’t call out some of the dismal comedy set pieces here, the most memorable of which involve him pouring hot coco on his chest and being kicked in the face by a toddler on a swing. A progressive duel-paternity partnership is filled out by Mark Wahlberg as Dusty who does lots of high-pitched bitching while trying keep time as a hard-ass.

Within the first few scenes the pair decide upon a family Christmas, which involves inviting their fathers over for the fun. The usually great John Lithgow goes full-tilt fruity as Brad’s touchy-feely pa, Don, while Mel Gibson is stunt cast as Dusty’s old man, a volcanic douchenozzle a glinting, right wing relic from the 1950s who gets his kicks from goosing blondes, being sickened by anything that might be construed as “gay”, and consistently promoting the necessity of American gun ownership.

It’s all depressingly sloppy, a horrid slog with no actual story and nothing that could could even charitably be described as a good joke. If we could go no stars, we would. It’s hard to imagine something worse would come along any time soon, but ya never know…

Published 13 Nov 2017

Tags: Mark Wahlberg Mel Gibson Will Ferrell

Anticipation.

The trailer was just silly enough to raise a light smirk.

Enjoyment.

Feels like it was made as a contractual obligation for all parties involved.

In Retrospect.

Moronic in the extreme. No parts here to salvage.

Read More

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By Clarisse Loughrey

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The dodgy politics of this would-be comedy might have been more hard-hitting had Will Ferrell and and Kevin Hard given us something to laugh about.

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Little White Lies was established in 2005 as a bi-monthly print magazine committed to championing great movies and the talented people who make them. Combining cutting-edge design, illustration and journalism, LWLies has been described as being “at the vanguard of the independent publishing movement.” Our reviews feature a unique tripartite ranking system that captures the different aspects of the movie-going experience. We believe in Truth & Movies.

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