Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg were hilarious together when they teamed up in 2010 for cop movie spoof The Other Guys. While the set-up in Daddy's Home is different, their roles are similar; Ferrell plays the naive, polite dweeb and Wahlberg is the wild cool guy.
The difference is that The Other Guys was littered with killer laughs, which are notably absent in Daddy's Home.
Where the former was ridiculously funny, the material this time is based around parenting and kids and often comes come across as plain mean.
Brad (Ferrell) is a mild mannered, stable and dedicated stepfather who has been working hard to win over new wife Sarah's (Cardellini) kids. It's a tough task but he's starting to gain their respect; his stepdaughter Megan is even including Brad in her family portrait drawings, although he's often depicted being murdered, while her brother asks for advice on how to deal with bullies.
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Enter freewheeling, irresponsible father Dusty (Wahlberg), accompanied by AC/DC's Thunderstruck and determined to win his family back.
From this point it's a battle between the two dads to win over Sarah and her kids. Brad takes an openly competitive approach, while Dusty adopts a more manipulative and cunning strategy - but both are predictable.
It's hard to ignore the fact that if Brad listened to his wife " or any number of other characters " and had as little as possible to do with Dusty, then none of the following damage would have happened - be it to property, relationships or self-esteem.
What's frustrating is that towards the end of the film the gags - about Dusty's physicality and the dads' theories on dealing with bullies - come home to roost and are hilarious. Unfortunately, it's a lot of family dysfunction to wade through for a meagre pay-off.
Cast: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini
Directors: Sean Anders, John Morris
Running Time: 96 mins
Rating: M (Violence, sexual references, offensive language)
Verdict: The laughs come too late in this predictable and cruel comedy