‘Blu-ray or Bust’
DADDY’S HOME TWO (2017, PG-13, 100 minutes, PARAMOUNT PICTURES/GARY SANCHEZ PRODUCTIONS)
As someone (see: “under-qualified film critic”) who takes his own opinion seriously, I figured the only way to fully appreciate DADDY’S HOME TWO was to watch the first film. Let’s just say I would have given that one a somewhat solid “C” by way of a grade; to explain further would be to reiterate myself when it comes to its haphazard sequel, and lessen the caustic verbiage of the proper review. So let’s just get to the bare bones, shall we?
This film sucks. It is a poor successor to a movie that really didn’t need a follow-up. Like BAD MOM’S CHRISTMAS, it seems a weak attempt at cashing in on the holiday movie genre (and both films have too many similarities to be coincidence). It is like watching a dog poo, only to have that dog look back at what it laid on the grass, was unhappy with the outcome, and decided to lay a less solid poo atop it. And you’re the one that has to pick it up. So allow me to walk that dog for you, because no one likes squishy… okay, I’m starting to gross myself out.
The film centers on Brad (Will Ferrell) and Dusty (Mark Wahlberg), two fathers that have worked out how to be co-dads to Dusty’s kids (and two actors who have been a heckuva lot better in other films). When both of their fathers come to town at Christmas, Dusty’s dad (played by Mel Gibson) takes over the holiday and books them all at a lodge, hours away from their homes. And all that happens in the first fifteen minutes; the writers and director Sean Anders seem in a rush to get you someplace fast, and it is a sporadic momentum which shows up in all of the wrong places. The biggest problem I have with the film is that there are only three comedic surprises, all of which belong to one person. Everything else is just as predictable as the first, and it is a fault the film cannot shake, even when that one person is shining.
Don’t get me wrong: everyone plays their roles exactly as you would expect. Ferrell’s Brad is still an irritating optimist, Wahlberg’s Dusty is still a semi-tough guy. But Brad’s dad (John Lithgow) is just like his son, only more extreme. Same with Dusty’s; it seems that a pre-requisite to filming was for each actor to play one facet of their character to the hilt, and to only let up at the very end, as that would show that the character grew and learned from everything that transpired in the first hour-and-a-half. WRONG. Everyone involved is playing this as a one-note gag, and it shows.
Except for that singular person I alluded to earlier. Scarlett Estevez plays young daughter Megan with a ferocity that everyone else should have been paying attention to. She was the only reason I laughed during the film, and most of that was during a scene that involved a live manger. Her timing and skills are clearly evident—let’s just hope no one in Hollywood holds this movie against her.
There are special features; a vignette concerning the “new dads” in the film, some extended and deleted scenes, and two other docs that I honestly did not have the heart or patience to watch. Probably because the stink of the movie was lingering. You know, like what that dog did in the yard.
So Miss Scarlett Estevez, you save this film. Just barely. Everyone else? Please, FOR THE LOVE OF THE SWEET BABY HEY-ZEUS, if Sean Anders says he has a great idea for a third movie, run away. Go take your dogs on a really long walk.
Just please keep them out of my yard.
Film Grade: D
Special Features: Seriously?
Blu-ray Necessary: Oh. hell no!