Daddy's Home 2 isn't a movie, it's a regurgitated facsimile of the original film, which was not good either. I am sure the producers of these films saw dollar signs thinking about the $170-million worldwide gross of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg's previous collaboration, The Other Guys, but this movie is just shit. To make matters worse, Daddy's Home 2 tries to be a Christmas movie, so you get to slog through a ton of holiday cliches and a dismal pop soundtrack. Even the most undemanding viewer should not add this to his holiday movie rotation. Do not reward filmmaking by committee; the participants are better than this.
I slayed A Bad Moms Christmas a few weeks ago, which also cashed in on the holidays and is a terrible movie. At least that film had the sack to earn an R rating. Daddy's Home 2 picks up with the now-friendly Brad Whitaker (Ferrell) and Dusty Mayron (Wahlberg) navigating the waters of co-parenting. If you recall the original film, the dads were at odds over one other's parenting of the stepchildren. This film takes place around Christmas, because fuck it, and the guys join their wives, kids and their own fathers at a huge vacation house. John Lithgow plays Whitaker's dad Don, and Mel Gibson portrays Dusty's father Kurt. None of the other characters are important or memorable.
What you get here is 100 minutes of tepid writing by Sean Anders and John Morris, dull direction from Anders and lackluster performances from the entire cast. I hope to God Gibson is not so broke that he's been reduced to taking this kind of role. Perhaps it is just a diversion before he directs another violent epic. Even Ferrell and Wahlberg look bored, and a buddy comedy should not be boring. Wahlberg continues to make decent movies with more serious roles. It is Ferrell who should be worried about his career. The man-boy shtick is stale, and I have not seen him in a decent comedy since The Campaign. Daddy's Home 2 is so bland, so safe, so dreadfully pedestrian that I wanted to chuck the Blu-ray out the window five minutes in. The things I do for DVD Talk.
The movie piles on the father-son drama to dilute the comedy. Lithgow is annoying here, and no one cares about his character getting a divorce. One of the kids ends up kissing his stepsister. Gibson elicits a very few minor chuckles but is totally wasted here. The film has exactly one bit that lands, because everyone knows you do not touch a dad's thermostat! The Liam Neeson gag at the end is not even clever, and the movie wraps up with a freakin' musical number in the lobby of a movie theater. This is trash, and Daddy's Home 2 does not even have the decency to be irreverent trash.
The 1.85:1/1080p/AVC-encoded image looks good, as you might expect from a new release. The filmmaking is not exactly a revelation, but the image is clear and mostly sharp throughout. I noticed minor softness in some wide shots, but close-ups reveal abundant fine-object details in fabrics, natural environments and on-set objects. Skin tones are natural, colors are nicely saturated, and black levels are appropriate. Other than very minor banding, I noticed no other flaws.
Paramount afforded this sinker a Dolby Atmos mix, which I sampled as a 7.1 Dolby TrueHD presentation. This is largely a dialogue-driven film, and the mix handles that dialogue, whether delivered front-and-center or directionally, with ease. Environmental effects are immersive, and the few action effects make good use of sound pans and the subwoofer. The pop-music soundtrack is integrated nicely, and I noticed no distortion or element crowding. Lossy French, Spanish and Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital dubs are included, as are English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.
PACKAGING AND EXTRAS:
This two-disc set includes the Blu-ray, a DVD copy and codes to redeem iTunes and UltraViolet HD digital copies. You also get a bonus digital copy of Daddy's Home. The discs are packed in an eco-case that is wrapped in a slipcover. Extras include Making a Sequel (4:50/HD), a fluffy EPK; Look Who's Back (7:16/HD), about the cast; Co-Dads: Will & Mark (6:36/HD); The New Dads in Town: Mel & John (7:37/HD); Captain Sully (2:17/HD), about the unnecessary cameo; Deleted and Extended Scenes (11:17 total/HD); and a Gag Reel (3:40/HD).
Bye, Felicia. Skip It.