10 December 2017

How's Your Father?

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You might not think it at first glance but Lethal Weapon and Daddy's Home 2 actually make a pretty good Christmas movie double-bill. The first film begins with Mel Gibson sticking a gun in his own mouth and the second one ends with you wishing you could join him. I don't know if you saw the first Daddy's Home film but I hope you did because this sequel certainly fucking assumes that you have. Without offering any context Daddy's Home 2 shows Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell obsessing over each other, worrying about each other, and doing their best to make sure that their children are happy. I had to explain to my friend who was new to the franchise that the two men were step-parents to each others kids and not as this film presents them; a gay couple designed by the fucking Stepford Wives. The set up for this movie is that the two men have decided to combine their families and spend Christmas together. Except, to avoid it descending into an exact replica of the first film, they've also decided to invite both of their own fathers, John Lithgow and Mel Gibson, to join them. And then later on John Cena turns up too as somebody else's Dad for some reason. Essentially this movie is like a festive set remake of Multiplicity except instead of a load of Michael Keaton clones you get a conveyor belt of shit Dads turning up instead.

To add a sense of drama however, Mel Gibson plays an absolute prick who wants both Wahlberg and Ferrell to fall out. Despite being aware of his plan though, neither of the two men actually tell Gibson, the wrinkled ball-sack of a father, to just get the fuck out of their house and instead go along with him for some reason. Maybe it's because he's an astronaut and they respect him for it? Did I mention that he's an astronaut because it gets stated in passing before going literally nowhere. Which is actually the problem with most of the jokes in this movie. At one point a joke is set-up which involves some children getting drunk. Then the punchline of them getting drunk is delivered and that's the end of it. They don't do anything funny or silly whilst drunk.. they just get drunk and that's it. If you like the idea of a child being drunk but then doing nothing amusing then fuck seeing this film.. just go on a night out to Liverpool and you can't fucking miss them. In fact, you know how the problem with a lot of American comedies is that they write a shit script with the intention of improvising something funnier on the day? Well Daddy's Home 2 is exactly that kind of movie except one in which they seem to have forgotten to improvise anything funnier on the fucking day.

Was the “Mel Gibson is an astronaut” line ever intended to go anywhere? Not only does Gibson's character present literally none of the characteristics you might expect of an astronaut but he's also Mel fucking Gibson. He can't drive a car without getting pulled over by the police and so who the fuck is going to send him into space? Do we really want to risk our first contact with aliens being Mel Gibson greeting them as 'sugar tits' and then getting locked up on fucking Mars? Gibson is kind of playing to type here by slightly riffing on his image as a violent cock-head except we know that in real life he's actually much fucking worse than his character is. Have you listened to that footage of him in real life in which he's storming about his house and screaming, “Where's my Maccabees script”? When I heard that recording I felt my stomach drop out in terror and then I instinctively started to fucking write it for him. His character doesn't like the idea of Will Ferrell raising his grandchild because he thinks he's too soft. However in real life we know that it'd probably be due to Ferrell's place as a member of the Hollywood Elite and Gibson's subsequent assumption that he might be one of those 'types' responsible for 'all the wars in the world'. At one point Gibson's character says that he's going to “drain the lizard” and we're meant to laugh because of how bluntly crude he was. However all he does is go for a piss. Big deal? When I heard Mel Gibson say that he was going to 'drain the lizard' I genuinely assumed that was his way of saying that he was going to kill a Jew.

Gibson aside, I suppose another issue with Daddy's Home 2 is in its treatment of its female characters. This is a film that only cares about the men, with the women only ever appearing as extras that haven't been told to get the fuck off set yet. Neither the men or the women are funny in this movie although I guess the women have the excuse that they at least aren't given a single thing to fucking do. In fact there's one woman in the film in which I was genuinely confused as to who she was. There was a story a few years ago about a Japanese lady that was secretly living in somebodies house without them knowing. She'd hide in the day and only sneak out at night to steal food whilst the actual occupants were asleep. I honestly assumed that the woman in this film was doing exactly that but due to the self-centred obliviousness of all of the other characters she was able to do it with much less subtlety. Apparently she was Mark Wahlberg's character's partner but you wouldn't know because they literally only share a handful of lines in passing and they don't seem to give a fuck about each other. Although in defence of that, that does mean that they have the most consistent relationship in the movie. Everybody else flits from violent hatred to pure love with each other with such frequency that I forgot that Daddy's Home 2 was a comedy and started to watch it as a gripping drama about a family suffering from extreme mass bi-polar.

As the film gets into its third act, the weather gets frosty and the characters find themselves stranded in a cinema in which they settle in to watch a fictional Liam Neeson action movie. Clearly they'd run out of budget at this point though because we only ever get to see them watching it and only hear Neeson's voice screaming lines from what sounds like a much better movie. Neeson appeared in the film Battleships for its entirety, so really how expensive can he be that they could only afford his fucking voice? Rather than laughing at the few lines they did manage to afford from him though, I simply watched the cast of Daddy's Home 2 as they watched it and I thought, “why do they get to watch Liam Neeson and all I get to do is watch these fuckers?!” After Neeson's film is over, the characters congregate in the cinema lobby and start listing all of the festive things that they have and that they should be grateful for. It includes things like 'family', 'music', 'food', and 'snow'. Although considering how shit a time they do actually seem to be having, and how much they seem to be enjoying it, I can only assume that by 'snow' they meant cocaine. Despite all I've said about him, I am actually a huge fan of Mel Gibson as an actor and I'm aware that he's clearly a troubled man. His appearance in this movie is clearly an attempt to get back into Hollywood's good books and prove that he's capable of being a movie star without letting his alcoholism affect his life. In which case I really hope that he isn't ever forced to watch this movie because in general I'm a tea-total and even I felt a need to hit the fucking bottle by the end of it. Thanks for reading motherfuckers and see you next time.

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