The premise for Daddy’s Home Two is about as immediately unoriginal as you can get. Granted the first film had a fairly original concept, but this being a sequel, that’s totally ruined. The other major thing is that the whole premise of the sequel side of this movie is literally exactly the same as A Bad Moms Christmas. Bad Moms was about moms, Daddy’s Home was about dads, A Bad Moms Christmas brought in the moms’ moms, and Daddy’s Home Two brings in the dads’ dads. These two movies were in production simultaneously, and the stories were likely conceived at the same time too. But since A Bad Moms Christmas beat Daddy’s Home Two to the punch with its theatrical release (albeit only by a week,) it’s the daddies who suffer. I’ll admit I was pleasantly surprised by the Bad Moms sequel, but I cannot say the same for Daddy’s Home Two, and for a plethora of other reasons.
Daddy’s Home Two picks up the holiday season after the events of the first movie. Brad and Dusty are operating happily as co-dads and are setting up plans for them to have one big family Christmas. This is all thrown for a loop when Dusty’s dad, Kurt, surprises by showing up for Christmas. At the same time, Brad’s dad, Don, shows up. While Don is busy chatting about everything, Kurt does what he can to bring back the bad blood between Brad and Dusty. With so many dads, the family Christmas is put in jeopardy.
I told myself I would do my best not to spend this review comparing Daddy’s Home Two to A Bad Moms Christmas, but I will mention that where the moms killed it on round two, the dads totally crash and burned. In A Bad Moms Christmas, the three actresses cast as the grandmothers were brilliant, and were essentially what made the movie worth watching. In Daddy’s Home Two, I thought for a bit that the casting of John Lithgow would mean the same for the dads. Lithgow was hilarious, and had great chemistry with Will Ferrell, but failed to have a significant enough impact on the film to compare. That was the crashing part. The burning was Mel Gibson. Seriously, whenever Gibson rolled up his sleeves, cracked a grin, or opened his mouth, I was immediately wanting the movie to be over. I agree that on paper, the casting of Gibson was a good idea. In execution, though, Gibson just made you want to bang your head against a wall.
Easily the most tragic thing about this movie, though, is that Mel Gibson’s presence wasn’t the worst part. Instead, it was the fact that the plot had little to know continuity, practicality, or even coherence.
Last month, I was given a little dice game called Rory’s Story Cubes. The way the game works is there are nine dice, and on each side of the dice are different pictures of objects. They could be anything from a sad face to a castle, or a parachute to a magic wand. The idea is that someone rolls the dice, and according to whatever they roll, they have to tell a story that includes each of those objects in the narrative. It’s a fun party or small group game, as you can get some pretty ridiculous results.
The main problem with Daddy’s Home Two is that it felt like the story was written while playing a game of Rory’s Story Cubes. John Cena wants to be in the movie? Let’s write him in. A pack of wolves? Put why not? A musical number? Okay! Each scene in this movie is so ridiculous and so far out there, that it requires you to completely mentally regroup every couple minutes. There is no reason for more than half of the scenes in this movie, and when you reach the end of the film, it’s impossible to put it all together because most of it just doesn’t belong. To any high schoolers who become frustrated when your teacher tells you to write an outline for your paper before you start, this is why.
The biggest problem with this movie, though, is that because of this incoherent narrative, the film stops being funny about halfway through. The jokes run pretty smoothly for the first bit of the film, mostly due to Will Ferrell’s sense of humor which has remained unchanged for about twenty years now. But at some point, around the middle of the movie, you stop laughing because you’re too busy trying to figure out what in the world is going on.
When this movie finished, the guy who had been loudly snoring a couple rows behind me woke up, and everyone began laughing as they stood up from their seats. These laughs, however, were the audience laughing at the movie rather than with it. This movie is so ridiculous and so insane, that you do laugh at it, mostly because you’re confused and don’t know what else to do. Maybe that’s what they were going for, maybe not. Either way, my head hurts.
I give Daddy’s Home Two a 4.2/10.