Daddy's Home 2 (1 star)

Daddy's Home 2

Mel Gibson is a depressing addition to the line-up of this horrendously offensive comedy sequel

Tone-deaf, mean-spirited and woefully unfunny, Daddy's Home 2's biggest offence is that it's being marketed as a family-friendly holiday comedy. The outdated and damaging messages about relationships, gender and, particularly, toxic masculinity should be allowed nowhere near a young, impressionable audience.

After the events of the first film, which saw Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) and Brad (Will Ferrell) engage in a battle of one-upmanship after Brad became step-dad to Dusty's kids, the pair have now become the best of friends. Yet when they are forced to spend the holidays together, in the company not only of their partners and kids but also their respective fathers (Mel Gibson and John Lithgow), tensions simmer until they reach boiling point.

While much of the movie's slapstick humour is aimed low – Brad gets felled by a cell phone tower he mistakes for a Christmas tree, a runaway snowplow destroys the festive lights — it's nothing compared to a leaden-footed screenplay, co-written by returning director Sean Anders, that disgraces and humiliates everyone on screen, and serves up narrative horrors at every turn.

Brad's genuinely caring and considerate persona is ridiculed by all; even wife Sara (Linda Cardellini) calls him a 'snowflake' when he protests his school-aged children asking a shopping mall Santa for shotguns. And while Sara is portrayed as an uptight, traditional mother (who, at one point, slut-shames Dusty's step-daughter when she turns up with a bare midriff), Dusty's virtually mute girlfriend Karen (Alessandra Ambrosio) is, by contrast, a sexy, shoplifting 'bad mom' – because, of course, women can only be responsible party poopers or delinquent femme fatales.

Most shameful, however, is the casting of convicted domestic abuser Gibson as Dusty's smart-mouthed womanising father, Kurt, who we see repeatedly ditching his family to sleep with random women, and taunting Dusty for letting another man raise his kids. More horrifyingly, he gives his young granddaughter advice on where to aim a gun to kill a man, and instructs his pre-teen grandson that the way to woo girls is to forcibly kiss them and then 'slap them on the ass'; advice that the youngster takes in a climactic sequence that is presented as seasonal cheer but plays like the passing of the sexist baton.

The presence of Gibson in this wilfully on-the-nose role isn't edgy, tongue-in-cheek or remotely funny, it's merely the biggest example of why Daddy's Home 2 is the most appalling and irresponsible film of the year. Avoid.

General release from Wed 22 Nov.

Daddy's Home 2

  • 1 star
  • 2017
  • US
  • 1h 40min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Sean Anders
  • Cast: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, John Cena, John Lithgow, Mel Gibson
  • UK release: 22 November 2017

Dusty (Wahlberg) and Brad (Ferrell) are now best of friends, but have to spend their holidays with their respective fathers (Lithgow and Gibson). A leaden-footed screenplay disgraces and humiliates everyone on screen, celebrating toxic masculinity and portraying women as either shrill party poopers or delinquent femme…

Comments

1. Ralph J20 Nov 2017, 6:49pm Report

So basically, now I only have a partial idea due to having to skip large quantities of it due to..you know, irresponsible spoilers with no warning..but what I did get was you went to see a film with the concept of a group of guys going through the struggle of bonding and gave it 1 star due to it being exactly what you expected it to be? It's down to the parent if they choose to allow their kids to be around certain jokes or not for What, an hour and a half? Hardly going to inspire a generation of hatred. I thought critics had to be neutral, and as a neutral you can't be offended by things that you take personal, like a sexist joke. So what was the film like from a neutral or a male perspective? If we were to go and see it for what it is, would we enjoy it? Although with all that said, I wouldn't have called it a family film based off of the first one, but kids are pretty smart at the age of 12 and can differentiate between a film and real life, if it was a 7 year old then yes I'd agree it's too much for them. Guess that's why it's a 12A.

2. Michael Winner21 Nov 2017, 11:24am Report

@Ralph J: calm down dear, they gave it 1 star because the film is shite.

3. TacMed22 Nov 2017, 4:53pm Report

They gave it one star because it offends special interest and identity politics. Thats the beauty of America if you are a easily offended snowflake then maybe you shouldn't go to movies above "G" ratings, so that your "good senses" aren't assaulted. Everyone just needs to chill out with the politics and sensitivity.

RSS feed of these comments