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Review: Much of the Slapstick Fails in ‘Daddy’s Home 2’

The Daddies are back, in yet another unwanted comedy sequel that’s just as mediocre as its predecessor, now with added Christmas. The original had Will Ferrell as a bumbling buffoon being victimised by an in-full-arsehole-mode Mark Wahlberg as the pair competed for alpha patriarch position. They ended up as friends, but in the sequel there’s all sorts of extra stuff thrown at the formula – more buffoons, more arseholes, more daddies, daddies of daddies… you get the idea. And all the added stuff actually adds nothing.

The best thing about the first movie was the brief role of John Cena, who also proved his comedy chops in Trainwreck. Here, he’s wasted in a way indicative of the whole thing – lazy writing coupled with ‘that’ll do’ directing. It’s supremely paint-by-numbers filmmaking that’s less than the sum of its parts.

Mel Gibson was allowed in this and the producers even had the balls to make his character a womaniser. He refrains from calling anyone “sugartits” or telling them “just smile and blow me”, but it’s still genuinely hard to laugh during any scene he’s in after hearing those infamous tapes. Sure, it’s genuinely hard to laugh at most of this movie, but there are a few chuckles to be had – mainly via Ferrell and his onscreen dad, John Lithgow. They’re the butt of most of the jokes and while much of the slapstick fails, some gags occasionally land.

This is not a good film, it’s not even really ok, but it’s not infuriatingly terrible like some American comedies are. Should you be forced to see a family Christmas movie this November, you could do worse. Speaking of doing worse – if they finally decide to let a person of colour join in, Daddy’s Home 3 would definitely star Bill Cosby, surely.

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