Film: A tasty pudding movie

Written By: Rita Di Santo
Published: December 20, 2017 Last modified: December 20, 2017

Daddy’s Home 2
Director: Sean Anders

Christmas comes once a year and with it come the “Christmas pudding’ movies. Hollywood bakes them with the same essential ingredients: Christmas decorations, trees and presents, naff jumpers with reindeer-designs, snowmen, the last-minute rush for the shopping and, of course, the Christmas songs. It’s entrainment for all the family.

Even a director as sophisticated as Sofia Coppola describes a movie like the original Daddy’s Home as one of her all-time favourites. “The only film my kids and I equally enjoy together,” she told the New York Times. “I love Will Ferrell, and this movie is sweet and fun to watch with cracking-up kids.”

Well, after two years, Sofia Coppola will be the first to run to the cinema with her children this Christmas as the sequel, Daddy’s Home 2, has arrived. Directed again by Sean Anders, it finds Dusty and Brad (Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell), once best enemies, now best buddies. Brad has married Dusty’s ­ex-wife Sara (Linda Cardellini) and, with Christmas approaching, the kids have to choose between spending the special day with their real dad or their step-dad. So, Dusty and Brad come up with the plan of all spending Christmas together.

Unfortunately, this means their respective fathers have to join them, too. Cue conflict and the laughter as Dusty’s dad Kurt (Mel Gibson) arrives in full macho mode, recreating old friction with his son, while Brad’s father, Don (John Lithgow), seems the opposite. With gentle manners and unafraid of affections, he kisses and hugs his son.

Will Ferrell is irresistibly funny, with very different kind of comic attitude to Wahlberg, Gibson and Lithgow, but the four make a magnificent off-kilter comedy team.

The script carefully parcels the story, ensuring no one has all the answers and they all have to learn from each other. The children are also fantastic with the discussion of the thermostat a hilarious standout.

A Christmas crowd-pleaser like Daddy’s Home 2 is never going to be innovative or challenging, but it certainly hits its targets. Fast-paced and energetic with lots of enjoyable silliness, it is ludicrously entertaining. All in all, this is a sweet and tasty Christmas pudding movie to wish all a peaceful, stress-free and joyful holiday!