Daddy’s Home 2 Parent Guide
These narcissistic fathers and messed up moms leave little for their children to celebrate.
Parent Movie Review
If two men vying for the affections of their children wasn’t enough, why not make it four? Since we met this fractured family in Daddy’s Home, Brad (Will Ferrell) and Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) have managed to figure out how to get along well enough to be in the same room together with their kids and Sara (Linda Cardellini), Brad’s wife and Dusty’s ex. Then the phone rings and Dusty hears the voice of his father Kurt (Mel Gibson) telling him he’s coming to visit for Christmas. Likewise, Brad’s dad Don (John Lithgow) is also checking in for the holidays, creating the perfect combination of “dyna” and “mite”.
The ubiquitous airport scene brings the male quartet together with an assortment of punches between the alphas and lip-kisses shared by the betas. It’s the template that will be used to milk every possible opportunity to juxtapose Kurt and Don’s child rearing philosophies as they spend time with their pooled collection of grandchildren and two mothers. Sara is mother to Dylan and Megan (Owen Vaccaro, Scarlett Estevez), both being Dusty’s offspring. Adrianna (Didi Costine), who would rather stare at her smartphone than be anywhere else, is the child of fashionista Karen (Alessandra Ambrosio), Dusty’s current wife. Finally, young Griffy (played by triplets Connor, Daphne and Dylan Wise) is Brad and Sara’s first child. Later we’ll add Roger to the mix (John Cena) playing Adrianna’s paternal father.
Moments after their arrival, Kurt determines the burgeoning bunch should spend Christmas in the mountains. After a tap on his smartphone (and a pitch for Airbnb) the crew loads into two SUVs headed for a large cabin where the bulk of the craziness will play out. Admittedly, a runaway Christmas-light-munching snow blower and a chainsaw felling of a disguised cell phone tower were two hijinks that brought deserved laughs.
Yet scenes of drunken kids making a mess of a nativity reenactment (not to mention their bickering parents), Grandpa Kurt recklessly handing Megan a shotgun so she can shoot a turkey and encouraging Dylan to go kiss and grope a young girl reminded me of what this plot’s biggest problem is: The kids are mere pawns within their parents’ whirlwind of self-discovery and ego-bashing.
Watching this film, and my surrounding audience’s reactions to it, convinces me that families are yearning for entertainment that will bring some joy to a very difficult year. But after crawling its way to the schmaltzy ending, the only happiness Daddy’s Home 2 presented seemed to be limited to the adult characters. While these narcissistic fathers and messed up moms celebrate their, at best, tenuous relationships with a song and dance number, their children have been subjected to possibly the worst Christmas ever. To avoid furthering the problem, do your kids a favor and leave them at home if you decide to see this movie.Directed by Sean Anders. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson, Will Ferrell, John Lithgow. Running time: 100 minutes. Theatrical release November 10, 2017. Updated November 14, 2017
Daddy’s Home 2
Rating & Content Info
Why is Daddy’s Home 2 rated PG-13? Daddy’s Home 2 is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for suggestive material and some language.
Violence: An adult tries to convince two young children to shoot a gun, one shot hits an adult causing a bloody wound and hospitalization. An adult shoplifts from a store without any consequence and implies it’s a cool thing to do. Adults engage in frequent physical altercations (wrestling, pushing, mild punching) and verbal confrontations, often in front of children. Various comedic situations involve pratfalls and accidental injury, including a character who is electrocuted after inadvertently cutting down a cell tower disguised as a tree, and characters hit with various objects causing falls and other physical harm.
Sexual Content: A young girl attempts to mimic an older woman whose fashion exposes her navel. Dialogue features frequent sexual innuendo. A father and son kiss on the lips in a few scenes. An adult begins telling a joke about “two dead hookers” to children. When a child asks for advice about a girl he likes, male adults (including his father and grandfather) begin questioning who, when and how they should discuss this topic. Later, in an attempt to begin a discussion, a man talks to a child and uses a variety of child terms for anatomy. A man is briefly seen in revealing underwear from the rear. Two men stand at a urinal, one looks down at the other (we assume he’s looking at his penis) and comments on his watch. A young boy, who has a crush on a girl, has been encouraged by an adult role model to kiss and grope her. A young boy kisses his step-sister and implies he has sexual feelings toward her. A line of young girls and a young boy eagerly wait to kiss another young boy.
Profanity: The script includes a partial sexual expletive, along with crude anatomical and scatological terms. Mild sexual innuendo is heard, some of it directed at children.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Children drink a bowl of eggnog even though they have been told it is an “adult drink”. Later they are seen intoxicated and one falls while playing an angel in a nativity scene. Adults drink socially and, at one point, to relieve stress.
Other: A Christian nativity with live actors is depicted at a local community church. Later the members of the family portrayed in this movie are seen playing the roles of sacred Christian people. Although one character says they need to quit arguing due to the hallowed situation, they continue to engage in verbal confrontation that eventually leads to physical threats. As well, some of their children are intoxicated after consuming alcoholic eggnog.
Page last updated November 14, 2017
More parents' guide for Daddy’s Home 2 after the break...
Daddy’s Home 2 Parents' Guide
What methods does this movie use to try to generate comedy? Is it shocking? Does it exaggerate situations your family may have been in? What aspects could you find funny? When might it cross the line of "good taste"?
At the time of this movie's release, the entertainment industry is dealing with many accusations from people who allege to have been sexually assaulted by those in positions of authority. In this movie, a grandfather coaches a young boy to go and kiss a girl he has a crush on, and then grope her posterior. Is this advice funny, especially in the face of current events? Is this kind of humor a mirror of real-life, or is reality mimicking the behavior that has been winked at in entertainment? Do you think this type of comedy will change as a result of the stories that are coming to light?
News About "Daddy’s Home 2"
There are some movies a critic hopes will never get the sequel treatment. For Me, Daddy's Home was one such film. Releasing on Christmas Day 2015, it meant I had one more screening to attend and one more review to write during the already busy holiday season.
Not to worry -- I have my priorities straight. The studio didn't offer us an advanced screening (which is usually a sign of their lack of confidence in the production) and I didn't bother fitting it into my schedule until a few days after the family festivities.
As suspected, Daddy's Home was a turkey of a movie, stuffed with crude jokes and offering little humor for garnish. Despite it's promotional push as a family film, it was really an adult themed story that just happened to feature a couple of kids caught in the middle of some juvenile grown-ups. Once my review was posted, I promptly forgot all about it.
Sadly, the studio did not. Thanks to a box office take of over $150 million, they decided to give the premise another go. In Daddy's Home 2 the plot feature four fathers, played by Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson, Will Ferrell and John Lithgow, engaged in yet another testosterone-charged competition. I expect the antics to be about the same as the first outing -- although sequels do have the reputation of being even less funny than the movies on which they are based.
By Donna Gustafson