Entertainment » Movies

Daddy's Home 2

by Greg Vellante
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Nov 10, 2017
'Daddy's Home 2'
'Daddy's Home 2'  

"Daddy's Home 2" is a "family film." I write "family film" in quotations for a few reasons. For one, that's what this sequel is being marketed as - a holiday romp for the whole family, about families, and touting family values. But then again, I write "family film" this way because "Daddy's Home 2" is anything but. This sequel to the 2015 box office smash is unnecessary, unimaginable and unforgivable. It is constantly at war with its intentions and its executions. It is a film that manages to be both shameless and shameful at the same time, and this balancing act lends itself to one of the worst films of the year.

With only a handful of laughs at its disposal, the original "Daddy's Home" turned major profit and obviously warranted a rush-job sequel to capitalize on these dividends. This new iteration finds formerly-feuding father figures Brad (Will Ferrell) and Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) working together as both friends and co-dads to their various children and step-children. Linda Cardellini returns as Dusty's ex-wife who is now married to Brad, but don't expect her to do a lot in this masculine-centered film. She spends much of the time feeling undervalued in comparison to Dusty's new wife, Karen (Alessandra Ambrosio), who essentially serves merely as a body for men to ogle (she's introduced with a side boob joke and is constantly flaunting tight leather pants).

The new pitch for this sequel involves the inclusion of both Dusty and Brad's fathers, played by Mel Gibson and John Lithgow, respectively. To the film's credit, it's kind of perfect casting. Ferrell and Lithgow have forged a comedic career of being goofy, occasionally annoying screen presences, while both Gibson and Wahlberg have proven in their public and private personas to be flaming pieces of human garbage.

Wahlberg seems to be playing up his career recently to mirror his very vocal family and Christian values, but a film like "Daddy's Home 2" undermines a lot of this intent. Gibson, as well, seems to be taking the steps of a career in "recovery mode," grimacing through the movie like a leathery turd being held against his will. Gibson's presence in the film is the greatest sin of "Daddy's Home 2." Even if we put aside the man's past actions, his character only works to consistently remind us of his brutish misogyny and gross ideals.

This is a "family film" where Gibson encourages a young boy to sexually harass a young girl by walking up to her with a mistletoe, so he can "plant a sucker on her" and "slap her on the caboose." This is a "family film" where Gibson encourages a nine-year-old girl to sit on Santa's lap and ask for "a 20-gauge shotgun with loads of bullets." This is a "family film" that features said nine-year-old pumping a shotgun and shooting it three times, at one point hitting a human being in the shoulder (to be fair, it's Gibson, but still). This is a "family film" where children get drunk, jokes are made about dead hookers and a final sight gag is meant to poke fun at a little boy presumed to be gay.

Quite simply, this isn't a "family film" at all. It's the cinematic equivalent of a house fire, a divorce, abuse, a death in the family -- it does more to harm family values than bolster them. Everyone involved with the production and marketing of this film should be ashamed, and if you take young children to see this film, shame on you as well.

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