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Wick's Review

Created Nov 25, 2017 08:31AM PST • Edited Dec 25, 2018 01:49AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Great 4.0

    The professional critics are wrong. Daddy’s Home 2 is a very funny and wickedly entertaining movie. Sure, it’s also shallow and morally repugnant, a perfectly polished expression of Hollywood Family Values. Beware and enjoy. Funny is funny, and this daddy-fest is a consistent LOL-fest. My packed theater loved it.

    But, wait, how can such a terribly degrading movie be great? Well, let’s take it from the beginning.

    2015: Daddy’s Home 1 looked bad from the moment the trailer started running on heavy rotation. In the event, the movie itself was Barely OK, one that I only saw because it played on a coast-to-coast flight.

    Then comes the Daddy’s Home 2 trailer a few months ago, which was funny from the git-go. First, Mel Gibson glides down an airport escalator, revealed as Mark Wahlberg’s ultra-macho dad, followed by John Lithgow as Will Ferrell’s super-softie of a dad. Sure enough, the sequel is a dramatically better movie than its progenitor, the offspring outstripping its forbear, as it were. The expanded cast of characters are the key.

    Speaking of that great cast, Will Ferrell only works for me in small doses. Fortunately, surrounded by a bevy of other winning actors, he doesn’t overwhelm the movie. John Lithgow is a particular treat as his father, the two of them forming a brilliant comedic duo. Mark Wahlberg and Mel Gibson get to play straight and macho, mostly, which also works well. The rest of the large cast also work well, even the child actors.

    Writer-director Sean Anders cleverly lampoons how today’s parents foolishly crave their children’s approval, leading to their children disdaining the approval of such silly adults. Basically, the more a parent craves a kid’s approval, the more jaded the kid becomes. Yep, there’s lots of comedy to mine from that vein.

    Even more, Daddy’s Home 2 seeks out countless common family situations for maximum comedic effect. Father-son affection, or lack thereof; mean girls; managing the house thermostat; awkwardness between members of a modern family; hanging Christmas decorations, with all that can go wrong; coming-of-age trials for girls and boys. Pretty much every target it seeks, it hits, with LOLs following in the wake.

    It might be a sign of the decline and fall of Western Civilization, but Daddy’s Home 2 is an instantly classic Christmas movie, and a deadly satire of contemporary mores and habits to boot. Ho! Ho! Ho!

  3. Great 4.0
    Will Ferrell • Mark Wahlberg • John Lithgow • Mel Gibson

    The comedic interplay between these four men is a bonfire of masculine archetypes, most of which works, comedically speaking. Ferrell throws himself into self-abasement to great effect, as is his metier. Wahlberg is his usual stud-muffin persona, even successfully venturing beyond straight-man dynamics here and there. Lithgow is simply an all-time great comedic actor, here an old fool who confuses improv with life. Gibson – Mad Mel! – is ideally cast as a womanizing astronaut who is retired from NASA, but not from women.

    Great Comedy Cast
    • Linda Cardellini delivers a MILFilly winning performance as Ferrell’s wife and Wahlberg’s ex.
    • Alessandra Ambrosio looks beyond fabulous as Wahlberg’s new wife and mean-girl mother.
    • Scarlett Estevez, Owen Vaccaro and Didi Costine deliver winning performances as modern Brady Bunch kids. Costine is gonna be a heartbreaker.
    • John Cena lends his square jaw to great effect.
    • Chesley Sullenberger cameos in cheerful fashion, of course.
  4. Male Stars Really Great 4.5
  5. Female Stars Very Good 3.5
  6. Female Costars Great 4.0
  7. Male Costars Really Great 4.5
  8. Great 4.0

    Daddy’s Home 2 is as terribly degrading as it is well conceived and well executed. Sean Anders, we’re not worthy, or something like that.

    Notable obscure credits: 20 stuntmen + half a dozen singers

  9. Direction Really Great 4.5
  10. Play Great 4.0
  11. Music Great 4.0
  12. Visuals Really Great 4.5
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.0
  15. Sex Titillating 1.8
  16. Violence Fierce 2.0
  17. Rudeness Salty 2.1
  18. Surreal 2.9

    Highly surreal, damn near to action-comedy levels.

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 2.5
  20. Biological Supernatural 3.1
  21. Physical Surreal 3.0


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