Will Ferrell, shrieking. John Lithgow, shrieking.
Like father, like son. Those are the behaviors of the characters they play in “Daddy’s Home 2.”
Mel Gibson, grimacing. Mark Wahlberg, shouting.
Father and son don’t get along. That’s the dynamic of their relationship in “Daddy’s Home 2.”
A colossal waste of time and the moviegoer’s dollars. The bottom line of “Daddy’s Home 2.”
The sadly foreordained follow-up to 2015 comedy hit “Daddy’s Home” finds Ferrell once again playing uber-wuss stepdad Brad Whitaker opposite Wahlberg as Dusty Mayron, the ever-so macho ex-hubby of Brad’s now-wife Sara (Linda Cardellini).
These opposites repelled in the original movie until, inevitably, they didn’t. Whereupon they became best buds and loving “co-dads” to their blended brood of quite insufferable tweens.
For the sequel, set at Christmas, director/co-writer Sean Anders introduces the dads of these younger dads, men who are more extreme versions of their sons.
Brad’s dad is a touchy-feely fellow who shows his affection for his offspring by smooching him hard on the lips. A lot. Lithgow overplays the part with such zeal that one fears he’ll rupture something.
Gibson’s dad character is a womanizing A-type astronaut who despises Brad and his dad — Gibson to Wahlberg re: Brad: “You want him dead; I want him dead” — and lets his lad know in no uncertain terms that he thinks the whole co-dad business is emasculating his son.
As for the kids, young Dylan’s (Owen Vaccaro) first stirrings of feelings for the opposite sex are mercilessly made fun of. And as for his sister (Scarlett Estevez) step-sister (Didi Costine) well, let’s watch as these very young ladies get plastered on spiked yuletide punch. For giggles.
Worst scenes? So many to choose from. A live-action family-participation creche sequence in which insults are exchanged and snowballs are hurled ranks high. My vote goes to the sequence set in a multiplex movie-house where a mass of snowed-in cast members bellow out a song celebrating the wonders of love. Make that: LOVE!!!
Can you feel it? The LOVE? It feels like a slushball in the kisser.
Daddy’s Home 2
☆ star out of 4
Cast: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson, John Lithgow, Linda Cardellini and John Cena.
Director: Sean Anders
Running time: 1:40
Rated: PG-13 for suggestive material and some language.