The holidays are all about family but blended families face their own dynamics around the holidays. Daddy’s Home Two is a silly, laugh out loud comedy where family is key to all the laughs. This movie is a fun one to see during the holidays but only time will tell if it becomes a classic like Home Alone or Christmas Vacation.
In the sequel to Daddy’s Home, Brad (played by Will Farrell) and Dusty (played by Marc Wahlberg) are co-parenting after a divorce and remarriage. But like in many blended families, the dynamics between the two men (and their wives) are stressed by the holidays. After their daughter tells the whole school that she hates Christmas because of going back and forth between the two houses, the men decide to have one big family Christmas. Throw in two grandpas (John Lithgow and Mel Gibson) and you have a holiday to remember.
Daddy’s Home Two hits upon every type of family conflict. We have divorce, step-parenting, raising children, abandonment, bad influences, anxiety, doubt… the list goes on and on. There’s something which will connect with every viewer. A few times it hits a little too close to home for me as a blended family. I once likened the holidays to planning a military campaign and Daddy’s Home Two shows just how challenging it is, especially since each person in the dynamic has different views on raising children.
Will Farrell has become a slapstick actor along the line of Jerry Lewis. His over the top antics are only a few of the laugh out loud moments. Mel Gibson does a wonderful job as macho, ladies’ man and astronaut Kurt Mayron. He’s here for Christmas to stir up trouble since he has a chip the size of California on his shoulder due to his own lack of parenting skills. Mel is funny and buff. It’s nice to see him get back to his comedic roots. Mark Wahlberg does a nice job as Dusty. He’s more often than not the straight man to Farrell’s antics. John Lithgow plays Farrell’s father who is hiding a secret. Lithgow’s character is whiny and sad.
The children share in the laugh out loud moments as they search for the way to kiss a girl for the first time and get drunk. And while the wives don’t have as much of a role in this movie, Dusty’s wife is an author who writes in a little notebook all day. She’s knockout gorgeous and intimidates Dusty’s ex-wife who thinks she is writing about her.
The entire movie takes place in the two weeks before Christmas and leads up to the climax of being stuck together in a snowstorm at a movie theater. Coincidental, you bet but still a perfect place for the final confrontation.
All in all, an enjoyable movie for the family (just not young children). A little over the top with the challenges of parenting and blended families. But a nice holiday movie to maybe catch together over the long holiday vacation. If you wait for it to be on DVD, you will still enjoy it.
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