One of the true signs of the beginning of the Christmas season is when holiday-themed, light-hearted comedies arrive into movie theaters. One of such films is Daddy’s Home 2, a sequel to the global smash that grossed three times its budget in 2015.
The prequel, also directed by Sean Anders, who is known for a list of slapstick comedies (Horrible Bosses 2, That’s My Boy), focused on the lives of two dads played by Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell. Wahlberg played Dusty, the real father of his two kids. Ferrel was Brad, the stepdad.
The heart of the comedy was in the opposite characters, Dusty as the old-school macho dad and Brad as the sensitive man with a high dose of estrogen running through his veins. Wahlberg as a master of quick remarks and Ferrell as poker-faced comedy legend they created an enjoyable piece of comedy that pulled out hard laughs.
In the sequel, their team is joined by two veteran actors: Mel Gibson, who plays Dusty’s dysfunctional two-fisted father and John Lithgow, who is Brad’s emotional daddy. Gibson, of course, is known for his straight-faced action roles, from Mad Max to Braveheart; Lithgow is famous in Finland from the American sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun.
In result, we have Wahlberg belting Gibson with bon mots, and the grey panther is having a hard time to keep up his guard. Lithgow brings in even a more emotional character than Ferrell’s. He takes it way beyond the limits of fatherly love with moist lip-to-lip kisses with his son.
Wahlberg and Ferrell — big believers of teamwork — leave plenty of room for Gibson’s and Lithgow’s characters to come alive, but the laughs are still launched by Wahlberg and Ferrell. Bringing in Gibson and Lithgow may increase the appeal of the film among their fans, but Wahlberg and Ferrell would have surely been able to carry the weight on their own. There’s something a bit off about Gibson’s ultramasculine character and Lithgow seems to try too hard, indulging in the grey area of overacting.
The audience, however, has received Daddy’s Home 2 well already. With a budget of 69 million US dollars, the domestic gross income is currently at 54 million. And the rest of the world has just started to buy tickets as the film premieres in many parts today.
Daddy’s Home 2 premieres in cinemas November 24.