Film Review: Daddy’s Home 2

Comedy sequel Daddy’s Home 2 is long on the festive spirit, but short on laughs. Sean Anders’ film is not one for the books.

‘Co-dads’ Dusty and Brad agree to host a joint Christmas so the children can spend the day with both sets of parents. Their plans for a peaceful holiday are hampered by the arrival of both their fathers, however…

Written by Sean Anders and Brian Burns and directed by Anders, Daddy’s Home 2 sits in an interesting position. The film is a sequel to 2015’s Daddy’s Home, a not altogether satisfying comedy. The sequel offers less laughs than its predecessor, with the crude humour being replaced with more family-friendly fare.

Anders’ film introduces two new characters into the mix. Like Dusty and Brad, Kurt and Don are polar opposites. And like the protagonists, these two are offered flimsy characterisation. The narrative goes the way most will anticipate; old tensions start to rise between Dusty and Kurt when their families spend Christmas in a cabin.

The film attempts to provide an emotional core, but this is about as successful as the comedy. There less than five amusing gags in the film, certainly not enough to sustain viewers for over an hour and a half. Like the first film, Daddy’s Home 2 has its fair share of slapstick. This wears thin after a while, with set pieces given a cartoonish quality. The finale of the film tries to capitalise on the Christmas setting by ramping up the sentiment. The film does not engage in an emotional way, so this feels inauthentic. Whilst there is a laugh here, it is over-egged.

Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg play to type once again. The introduction of John Lithgow in a smart move; he is a welcome presence. Mel Gibson is less welcome however. Gibson is noticeably poor as Kurt. The close-ups of his over-the-top cackling are particularly cringe-inducing.

Daddy’s Home 2 is hopefully the last in this franchise of films. It would be great if Will Ferrell’s next comedy has consistent laughs.

Film Review: Daddy’s Home

Daddy's Home

Director and co-writer Sean Anders’ Daddy’s Home is very much in the same vein as his other comedies. Will Ferrell fans will find laughs, but there is little here that is unpredictable.

Brad loves being a stepdad to his wife’s two children. Brad is finally winning the children round, when their real dad decides to visit. The freeloading Dusty forces Brad to compete for the affection of the kids…

Daddy’s Home is a sufficiently entertaining comedy, as may be expected from the crew behind Step Brothers, The Other Guys and more. This latest Adam McKay-produced film offers a formulaic premise. Viewers are likely to know exactly what kind of film it will be from the first five minutes. The dependable stepdad is upstaged by the exciting real dad returning after an absence.

Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg play the exact roles expected of them in Daddy’s Home. There is no twist of assumptions as provided by The Other Guys, for example. In this latest film, the leads play to type. The wafer-thin characterisations leave plenty of room for comedy.

Daddy’s Home relies on the same style of humour as many of Ferrell’s other films. The film mixes slapstick with bawdy humour. This works to the same extent; some jokes hit whilst others miss the mark. Nonetheless, the film entertains overall. There are some decent parts, such as the anecdotes of Brad’s boss Leo (played by Thomas Haden Church). Will Ferrell goes through the motions as Brad; there is no stretch for the actor in this role. Likewise, Wahlberg is cast in a familiar fashion. Hannibal Buress is underused as Griff; the comedian is not given enough decent material.

Daddy’s Home is a diversion; audiences are likely to chuckle during the 1 hour 36 minute run time. Nevertheless, there are not enough belly laughs for the film to be memorable.

Film Review: Horrible Bosses 2

Horrible Bosses 2

With Horrible Bosses 2, director Sean Anders offers more of the same in this crime caper sequel.

Sick of dealing with awful bosses, Nick, Dale and Kurt decide to launch their own business. Things look promising, until an investor pulls out leaving the trio in a desperate situation. With limited options, the group turn to crime…

Horrible Bosses 2 is undoubtedly a silly movie. However, this is not to say that the film is not entertaining. The humour continues in the same vein as Horrible Bosses. Those left unimpressed by the first instalment will find this film equally unappealing.

The comedy in Horrible Bosses 2 often appeals at the basest form. The jokes can be a bit hit and miss, but the spirit of the film is amiable. What makes Horrible Bosses 2 enjoyable is the camaraderie between the main characters. The actors clearly have good chemistry, and this shines through into the film.

Director and co-writer Sean Anders keeps the action moving at a good pace. Plotting in the film is not exactly convincing, but this aura of unlikeliness adds to the film’s zany nature. The plot twists are predictable, but there is enough humour to negate this.

There are a few overt reference to a particular point of view that Horrible Bosses 2 takes. The stance is not particularly groundbreaking, but offers more of a message than the first film. Nevertheless, for the most part, Horrible Bosses 2 concentrates on comedic elements. The insinuation at the end of the film harks back to an aspect of the first film that some viewers found questionable.

Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis reprise their roles with the same energy as the first film. Jennifer Aniston pushes further into crudeness with Julia, setting the character as an even starker contrast to the roles she is usually associated with. Chris Pine is a good addition to the cast.

With a good soundtrack and enviable cast, Horrible Bosses 2 is a decent comedy sequel that should satisfy its intended audience.