Written by / 11/09/2017 / No comments / , , , , ,

THURSDAY REVIEW OF DADDY'S HOME 2

Year: 2007
Ironic that the Godfather of Once Popular Actors Shunned From Hollywood Literally Overnight, Mel Gibson, peaks his head out this weekend following  several male showbiz careers being either wrecked or shamed...

Also ironic is that his old school blunt tough guy character needed to be much more politically-incorrect in order to ruffle feathers i.e. intentionally screw up the Christmas spirit, which could have wielded more gusto from Mel, and laughs from us: He's a womanizing former astronaut butting heads with estranged son Mark Wahlberg, while super-friendly Will Ferrell cozily bonds with his even more ridiculously saccharine father in John Lithgow...

Mainstream Comedy Curve: ***1/2
What begins as a pale one-up imitation of the original (fathers to grandfathers), DADDY'S HOME 2 gets a needed push when it becomes an all-out snowy vacation flick... As in CHRISTMAS VACATION... Particularly a scene where the most reluctant member has to chop down a real tree for the living room. Unfortunately, a lot of the physical gags are either too familiar or simply feel contrived. Worse yet, in Will Ferrell's case, it takes away from his "oblivious nice guy" character that still kinda works — anyone can be substituted with a stunt double to fall off a roof, etc...

What's good is that DH2 is corny and knows it, chewing rabidly at the "this was supposed to be fun and it isn't" routine (along with old tunes like England's superior "We Are The World" rival "Feed The World") until it slightly resembles something of its own. Meanwhile, the kids help more than hinder the overall mood and pace: Very needed since Gibson's gruff sarcasm towards Ferrell and Lithgow comes across more contemptuous than funny, especially since the latter plays a talkative boob who's way too kindhearted and friendly: The awkward moments that the film builds on purpose aren't nearly as uncomfortable as the curt reactions that follow each. And until the end, Wahlberg gets lost in the mix but... Somehow it works... Go figure... (PS For youngsters to sharpen-up on or discover the formerly-young granddad actors, watch LETHAL WEAPON for one, and for a real surprise, Brian DePalma's BLOW OUT for the other.)
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