A confession: We don’t really get “Daddy’s Home,” the freak Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg hit from Christmas 2015. That’s not the the hilarious one where they play disgraced cops who foil some white-collar super-crime while Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock leap to their deaths. That’s “The Other Guys.” “Daddy’s Home” is the safer, sweeter, far less funny one where Ferrell plays a square dad married to cool dad Marky Mark’s ex-wife (Linda Cardellini, underutilized). But guess which one made all the money? And guess which one Sofia Coppola put on her list of favorite movies of the century-so-far?
Life’s not fair, so instead of “The Other Guys 2” — although Ferrell and director Adam McKay really ought to lock down “Step Brothers 2” first — this November we’re getting “Daddy’s Home 2.” The twist? There are two more daddies. And one of them is Mel Gibson. That’s right: Mad Mel’s comeback is apparently real, and he’s used his “Hacksaw Ridge” accolades to slip back in front of the camera and make one of the year’s most anticipated comedies more than a little uncomfortable.
So have a hearty chuckle at the antics of a guy who once drunkenly railed against the Jews and, after we’d kind of forgiven him for that, made racist remarks to an ex-girlfriend. It’s not easy being a fan of Mel — and we are fans of Mel. Praise has to be followed by endless qualifications — about how artists can be terrible human beings, how Gibson is one seriously messed-up person who will probably never conquer his demons, how his considerable problems are key to what make him him. Even admiring “Hacksaw Ridge” requires acknowledging that it’s a fascinating psychological case study, in which a filmmaker works out his issues by making a film that’s both deeply spiritual and vomit-inducingly ultraviolent.
Anyway, back to “Daddy’s Home 2”! Gibson uses his current scary-screwed-up-guy rep to fine comic ends, including a bit where he starts to tell a very blue joke to Cardellini’s kids. The Oscar-winning filmmaker and former A-list god plays the menacing pops of Wahlberg, natch, while his arch-nemesis comes in the form of a mega-cuddly John Lithgow, who of course produced Ferrell. We’ll honestly see Gibson in anything he does; he’s that interesting a character. So we’ll see “Daddy’s Home 2.” Also, we’re journalists, so we have to see it anyway.
Watch the trailer below; the thing comes out in November.