Daddys Home 2 review

This decent sequel to the so-so 2016 film Daddy's Home adds an extra couple of daddies to the mix for extra laughs. And as it did with the Meet The Parents sequel, the addition of another parental layer does help the film to lift its game.

Co-dads Brad (Will Ferrell) and Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) plan a combined Christmas when their kids complain about having to have two separate Christmases. All appears to be sorted until the arrival of the granddads - macho ex-astronaut Kurt (Mel Gibson), father to Dusty, and Brad's wussy dad Don (John Lithgow). As you'd expect, there's plenty of personality clash when Kurt takes over and organises a Christmas for the families at a mountain resort.

As sequels go, Daddy's Home 2 is a cut above the original, thanks to less reliance on bad-taste humour and more focus on the relationships between the characters. Brad and Don are incredibly close, and there is strong chemistry between Lithgow and Ferrell - you genuinely believe that they could be father and son. (The age difference is believable too, with 72-year-old Lithgow being 22 years older than Ferrell). In contrast, unreconstructed toxic-male Kurt hasn't seen son Dusty in many years, and is disgusted by the close relationship he sees between Dusty and Brad; he sets out to do all he can to drive a wedge between them.

How much you enjoy Daddy's Home 2 will depend a lot on how comfortable you are watching Mel Gibson. On the plus side his character is pretty unlikable, so he seems to be playing true to type. Lithgow is superb here, and his performance almost makes up for that awful Australian accent he attempted in Pitch Perfect 3. Almost. As with the first film, Wahlberg and Ferrell are terrific and bounce off each other nicely. And another plus is that the wonderful Linda Cardellini – as Sarah, Brad's new wife and Dusty's ex – is given more to do here than in the first film.

The essential test of any comedy is: did it make you laugh? If so, then it's done its job. Daddy's Home 2 made me laugh several time, so on that front, it's a decent comedy.

EXTRAS: There's the featurette Making a Sequel (4:50); the featurette Look Who's Back (7:16); the featurette Co-Dads: Will & Mark (6:36); the featurette The New Dads in Town: Mel & John (7:37); the featurette Captain Sully (2:17); a collection of Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes (11:17); and a Gag Reel (3:40).

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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