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Raising a laugh from sad Christmas

Monday December 04, 2017 Written by Published in Entertainment
A scene from the movie Daddy’s Home 2, now showing at the Empire Cinema. 17113024 A scene from the movie Daddy’s Home 2, now showing at the Empire Cinema. 17113024

Depending on your views, the Christmas period can either be the most exciting or the most frightening time of the year.


For some, it is a chance to treat their sweet tooth, spend time with extended family and not worry about adding on a few kilos.

For others, there is a dread of what to buy loved ones, or which parent they will spend the season with, or if they will receive any presents at all.

While the Christmas narrative traditionally focuses on things like the Christmas lights and the delightful singing, it can truly be a sad time for many people, and this is something that the family comedy Daddy’s Home 2 tries to tackle.

This film takes place directly after the events of the first Daddy’s Home film, which pitted dreamboat Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) against steamboat Brad (Will Ferrell), as they competed for the affection of their children.

Having become best friends by the conclusion of the last movie, they now must face the next level of boss; their dads.

Tough guy Dusty is very worried about the presence of his father, who turns out to be Hollywood “bad-boy” Mel Gibson.

Gibson doesn’t seem to have to do much acting in this one.

It’s as though he just walked onto the set while the cameras were rolling, because his character seems to mirror his real life behaviour that made him a Hollywood outcast in the first place.

However, the dad of Brad Jonah goes too far the other way, implying that the father of a considerate, environmentally-concerned person has to be effeminate.

Although it does lean very hard on the Christmas stereotypes such as the slapstick humour when property is destroyed or the inevitable strained family dynamics, there are some redeeming moments.

The strong chemistry that Wahlberg and Ferrell have had in previous movies keeps Daddy’s Home 2 afloat, and some of the over-the-top physical humour does occasionally hit the right spot.

John Cena adds to the movie, especially when he features in the standout nativity scene that had the audience at Empire Raro laughing throughout.

But unfortunately, like a lot of Christmas movies, it doesn’t seem interested in wanting to break the norm and do anything different.

The humour is bland and crass, most of the characters are so boring that they are either forgotten or have no development. It creates issues that appear out of nowhere and which are then resolved just as quickly, or just abandoned, and it doesn’t manage to further address

the joy or dread that people have during the festive season.

If you enjoyed the first Daddy’s Home, you will likely enjoy a further look into the life of Dusty and Brad, as well as meeting their parents.

But if you are looking for a nice family themed Christmas movie that uses humour as a term of endearment or as part of the plot, this will probably not suit what you’re looking for.

Just like Christmas, some are able to make their way through fantastic amounts of chocolate and lollies and other sweet things and show no ill-effects.

Others just get sick.

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