The sad thing about Daddy’s Home is it could’ve tackled the issue of divorced bio fathers and step-fathers head on. But everyone was hate able to the point where they’re no longer human beings. Needless to say there was a lot of holiday blues going into this, and a diet National Lampoon Christmas Vacation that thinks it can get away with murder and still have an emotional pay-off because it’s a Christmas movie. Well think again Gary Sanchez productions, because you’re morphing the new Happy Madison Productions with this steaming pile of regurgitated eggnog.
The co-dad system seems to be working for Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) and Brad (Will Ferrell) until Dusty’s sleazy, alpha male father, Kurt (Mel Gibson) crashes the peace with an invitation to a holiday rental house. Not far behind is Brad’s wet noodle father, Don (John Lithgow) and eventually John Cena as the bio father to Dusty’s new step-child.
At first Wahlberg and Ferrell’s chemistry from The Other Guys took off along with some dedicated slapstick involving a snow blower. But as the family expands, everything turns to yellow snow with repeated jokes that weren’t funny before and saving the Christmas spirit for a holiday theater outing commercial. Instead of constantly crapping on Will Ferrel he shares the pain with pointless, mean-spirited sub plots especially for the wasted Linda Cardalini who’s a far cry from her Wendy role in Gravity Falls. The inconsistent tone leaves Lithgow’s incredible dramatic skills wasted and the extras are just as unlikable in reacting to a situation just because the script threatens them otherwise. Oddly enough Mel Gibson’s role as the devil pawning everyone against each other as punishment for being a horrible family puts faith in humanity from the most unlikely of places.
There were a lot more laughs here, but it had to be paid with blood and tears on the inside. And despite the chemistry between the kids, dads and grand dads everyone’s still not fit to be human in how they behave. The only thing I got out of this was the hope that someone will make the Liam Neeson vehicle Missile Tow a reality. Because when Mel Gibson is the saving grace of an ugly holiday special during the infamous Hollywood Spotlight purge, then this can go decapitate itself with a chainsaw.
Pros: Mel Gibson, Wahlberg and Ferrel chemistry, Physical Comedy
Cons: hatefully cynical family, stupid extras, inconsistent tone,