addyDaddy’s Home 2

out of 5 — Jeremy Wood

Did anyone honestly think after seeing “Daddy’s Home” in 2015, we would see a sequel? I mean, it was an okay movie. Fun for the family, funny in some parts — but c’mon we still haven’t seen the sequel to “The Incredibles!” So really, when you saw the first movie — did you think that just two years later — there’d be another one loaded and ready to go? I know I didn’t.

The weird thing is — as much as I didn’t expect there’d be a sequel, and seeing how most sequels aren’t even close to as good as the original — this movie surpassed all of my expectations. It’s much better than the original and the additions of Mel Gibson and John Lithgow just make it a solid movie — especially for Christmas. Of course, most movie critics won’t like it. And it likely won’t score a giant rating with Rotten Tomatoes, but I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and was entertained the whole way through.

If you’ve seen the first movie — you know the premise. Mark Wahlberg (Dusty) and Will Ferrell (Brad) have to find a way to make their blended family work — which is no easy task since they are polar opposites of each other. Dusty being the rough and tumble cool guy, and Brad being a corny and kind of nerdy fellow, who cries if someone pays him a nice compliment. As we pick things up in “Daddy’s Home 2” things are progressing quite nicely as a little bit of each of their personalities have rubbed off on each other, and everyone seems to be getting along. Christmas is close and the families are preparing to celebrate the holiday as they always do — apart — with the kids rotating back and forth between moms and dads, something the parents think is going fine. Until they learn that the kids just want what all kids want — to be together. So with some planning and moving things around they all agree that this year they’re going to have a “together” Christmas, which goes over swimmingly, until Dusty gets a call from his Dad, Kurt (Mel Gibson), saying he’d like to come visit. Of course, Brad’s dad, Mr. Whitaker (John Lithgow) is also coming over, and Brad thinks this will be even more awesome. Then we meet Kurt — who as cool as Dusty is — is even cooler and more rough around the edges, and obviously has a checkered past with his son. On the other hand, Mr. Whitaker and Brad’s relationship couldn’t be stronger, as Brad devolves into a little kid around his father, and worships the ground he walks on — as do his grandkids. While trying to determine where they’re going to spend their together Christmas, Kurt rents a cabin in the woods for everyone to stay in — thinking his money will impress everyone, but also that the close quarters might wake his son up to taking on a stronger role in the family by trying to pit Brad and Dusty against each other.

From here the movie takes on a very Griswold feel to it, and genuine laughs follow. Again, this is not a film that I imagine too many critics are going to put on their “Holiday Must See” list — but it is definitely on mine. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are funny together, and the addition of Mel Gibson and John Lithgow fits perfectly — as each one mirrors their sons perfectly and lets you see clearly how each man became who they are. The kids in the movie are really funny — and cute — as well, though I could see a couple of eyebrows raised at the “eggnog” incident. All in all — is this movie gonna set box office records or take home some Oscars? No. But is it what a Christmas movie should be — fun, stress free and complete with a happy ending? Yes. It is perfect for families with kids looking for something to do, and even a few big kids like me — who love to laugh. This will go on my shelf right next to “A Christmas Story, “A Christmas Vacation,” “Elf” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

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Jeremy Wood

Jeremy Wood

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Owner of Cinematic Visions…A Professional, Award Winning Video and Media Production Company. Matthew 5:16.