As sequels go, Daddy’s Home 2 is more than passable. Directed by Sean Anders (who also directed Daddy’s Home), it is slim in the story department, but glides over the paint-by-numbers plot with charm and a winning cast.
In the first film, the comfortable family that life mild-mannered stepfather Brad (Will Ferrell) enjoyed with wife Sarah (Linda Cardellini) and her two children was turned upside down by the arrival of Sarah’s macho ex-husband Dusty (Mark Wahlberg). This time round, the two co-dads are seeking to provide their blended family with the perfect “together” Christmas in the snow, but their friendship is put to the test while hosting and entertaining their own fathers.
Dusty’s virile and ultra-masculine dad (Mel Gibson) is never going to get along with Brad’s loving and sensitively demonstrative dad (John Lithgow), and the arrival of the grandparents throws the seasonal festivities into total disarray.
It’s a tad harebrained and more than a little sentimental, but it’s also funny, well-acted and just as enjoyable as its predecessor, delivering a good supply of light yuletide merriment. Viewers who liked the chemistry between Wahlberg and Ferrell in the original will love them at least as much Daddy’s Home 2.
Of course, it all ends in bromidic reconciliation, with Brad and Dusty redefining what makes the holidays special and inducing a warm and fuzzy smile that suggests the predictable outcome is merited. A holiday treat that never falls short of its intended aim to amuse.
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