Release Date: November 10, 2017
Director: Sean Anders
Writer: Sean Anders, Brian Burns, John Morris
Cast: Linda Cardellini, Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson, Will Ferrell, John Cena, John Lithgow, Scarlett Estevez, Alessandra Ambrosio, Owen Vaccaro, Leah Procito, Anastasia Mousis Sanidopoulos, Joanie Catalano, Didi Costine, Oscar Wahlberg, Lin Hultgren, Keli Grangroth, Susan Garibotto, Yamilah Saravong, Rob Levesque, Trip Case, Ralph Ayala, Molly Schreiber, Jose Guns Alves, Marybeth Paul, Jonathan Angel, Yimmy Yim, Arthur Hiou, Elle Matarazzo, Ken Kansky, Adrian M. Mompoint, Colton Osorio, Ellyana, Kaden Barry, Manny Famolare, Sammy Silverwatch, Kyle Tristan, Frankie Imbergamo, Eric Consolazio, John Franchi, Sheila Salaverry, Matthew Delamater, Jed Griswold, Brendan Egan, Susan Bergeron, Lance Norris, Elaine Victoria Grey, Nicole Sarmiento, Melinda Coady, Sylvia Barjolo, Terry Monfet, Anabel Graetz, Bo Cleary, Andre Pith, Shayna Bredbeck
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 100 minutes
Production Company: Paramount Pictures, Gary Sanchez Productions, Huahua Media
When Daddy’s Home hit theaters back in 2015, I knew it would be a smash hit. The premise alone, with Will Ferrell involved was sure to be a knockout full of laughs from beginning to end. I was let down with that film, with majority of the jokes not landing until the latter half of the film, theoverall feeling was just decent fun. That’s not the case with this sequel Daddy’s Home 2. Sean Anders (Sex Drive, We’re The Millers) returns as the director, and it’s apparent he took in all the feedback he possibly received from the first outing. Daddy’s Home 2 is not only funnier than the first film but an overall improvement across the board. From the first frame to the last I was laughing behind nonstop, engrossed in a complete story, and character moments I could latch unto. I’m so impressed with the film, that I can’t wait for the video release to add it to my own personal collection of greats.
It’s Christmas time and the entire cast is back for the holidays. If you thought Dusty Mayron (Mark Wahlberg) was a terrific addition to the last film imposing on Brad Whitaker’s (Will Ferrell) new family, wait until you get a load of their fathers. With them being Kurt Mayron (Mel Gibson), and Mr. Whitaker/Brad’s Dad (John Lithgow). In the first film, Dusty and Brad were polar opposites that clashed nonstop, but with their two fathers joining the fold, it takes the comedic elements and relationships in this film to the next level. Their casting shows that each member of the family is truly a product of their environment, and I loved every moment of it. The father’s roles feels so natural too. If someone was to say they were the real-life fathers of Brad and Dusty in real life, it would be difficult not to believe them. So, seeing the entire blended family hashing it out was nothing short of remarkable.
What took my attention from the first moments of the film, was the film embracing all of its silliness. This film isn’t the sum of a number of Saturday Night Live jokes, but adults acting like children in a sense, but have every right to do so. What’s honest and true is always funny, and the film takes full advantage of that reality. No one likes being replaced in a family, so, the reluctant behavior that’s performed from the cast is spot on. Seeing all the adults grind their teeth in frustration, yet having to appear to take the higher road is not only something most can relate to but causes many funny moments you can’t help but laugh at. We’re all human, and not perfect beings, so, through each scene, you may say to yourself, “I’ve been in their shoes too,” and if not you’re most to likely know someone who has.
No one likes a story that’s predictable either, and this one surely isn’t. While on the surface, you may be inclined to think you know where the story bits are headed towards, but every time I tried to make a prediction, or the film telegraphed the next scene, the film took a hard left turn to a place of mystery I wouldn’t have imagined. Even towards the end of the film, when it appears all is said, and done it ends on a high note of surprises, that’s not only delightful, but made you want to sing along, and dance (I would’ve if I was in the theater alone). Within the film, every scene has something to laugh at, but there are four keys scenes involving a thermostat, a Nativity scene, a movie theater, and bowling alley that were not only funny, but laugh out loud, and familiar to my own personal life. The personal connection I had was an unexpected gift to my senses which I’m very appreciative of, forcing me to love the film, even more than I already did.
In the end, Daddy’s Home 2 is a gem I’ll remember for a while. From the casting, the story, the jokes, and flow of the film; it in every way supersedes its predecessor. The fact that the director Sean Anders could turn things around improving this sequel in every aspect is a true testament of a learning curve he went through that I respect. There are also morals that the film touched on towards the end. That illustrates it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, or what location you’re at, or what traditions you or someone may be used to, that the ultimate pleasure is family coming together, and loving each other no matter what differences each member may have. I loved this film!