Daddy's Home 2

*

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Daddy's Home 2
"Screen humour has dropped below the level of funny-ha-ha into an abyss where mechanical failure and humiliation are the stuff of legend."

Where to start? Where to end?

You start with Daddy's Home, the original. If you don't you won't understand the complex children thing, like who belongs where and what relationships are completely screwed and which ones only look as if they're going to be screwed.

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You end on Christmas Day, snowed in, having a massive singalong and wondering how it's possible in 2017 to be watching a movie that takes it's cue from those shudderingly awful Chevy Chase holiday romps.

Slapstick is tough. Chaplin knew the tricks. Who else? Mark Wahlberg is not known for his comedic skills. No change here then. Will Ferrell confirms to his battalion of doubters, many of whom walked out of Elf, that he's accident prone and a laugh-out-loud wannabe. The only one in this merry crew who has the chops for a party is (surprise yourself) Mel Gibson as a right wing hard nut who chases the girls - this was made before such behaviour had become a criminal offence - and is the kind of grandad you want if you are a rebellious 10-year-old. He encourages the kids to break the rules, preferably armed.

The thumbnail sketch of a plot (with apologies) reads like this: Mark's family and Will's family have booked a house out of town for Xmas hols. Both their dads decide to come. Will's pater is John Lithgow, a tall streak of blubber who likes to hug. Chaos ensues. Things fall on Will. Mark looks annoyed (most of the time). The wives keep the show on the road and their tempers intact. The children are making demands and getting what they want. The grandads are either inciting rebellion or crying.

The house is Hollywood posh which means it's not like anything you have ever seen unless you are related to a millionaire. The food would not embarrass a TV chef. The jokes are cliches, predictable and smile free. The weather turns bad, which is good, because it adds a drizzle of drama into the cheesy mix.

Notes in passing: they sell guns at the Christmas Fair and turning up the thermostat is a running gag.

Not every sequel has the magic touch. This would be listed under Gold Class Turkey. The actors get paid. The producers take their lawyers out to lunch. The studio bollocks brigade keep talking. The product is made to measure and the audiences vomit into popcorn buckets.

The ghost of Christmas Past collects his winnings from the ghost of Christmas Future. Screen humour has dropped below the level of funny-ha-ha into an abyss where mechanical failure and humiliation are the stuff of legend.

Yo Ho No!

Reviewed on: 22 Nov 2017
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Christmas holiday mayhem with all the families, including grandads.

Director: Sean Anders

Writer: Sean Anders, John Morris

Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson, John Lithgow, Linda Cardellini, Alessandra Ambrosio, Owen Vaccaro, Scarlett Estevez, Didi Costine, Connor Wise, Daphne Wise, Dylan Wise, John Cena, Andrea Anders, Kyle Tristan

Year: 2017

Runtime: 100 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US

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