Albert Brooks can’t get arrested in Hollywood, but sequels to star-studded, empty-headed comedies continue to flourish. Back-to-back screenings of A Bad Moms Christmas and the second movement in the Daddy’s Home saga made it a weekend of #2 at the multiplex.
Mark Wahlberg recently apologized to God for appearing in Boogie Nights. Satan’s currently warming up a tier in hell for him and the funky bunch of willing participants in this crime against cinema. As in the first installment, there’s a superbly executed avalanche gag, this one involving a snow-blower consuming a strand of perimeter Christmas lights. At best, it has the same effect as a shot a Febreeze would on a garbage scow.
Brazilian bombshell Alessandra Ambrosio returns as Wahlberg’s trophy bride, and damn if the funniest thing in the picture isn’t watching the filmmakers work up a sweat while trying to avoid giving the Victoria’s Secret mannequin much in the way of dialogue. (She makes Melanoma Trump sound like Dame Judi Dench.) Wahlberg taps into his inner-Bowery Boy to play Leo Gorcey to Ferrell’s Huntz Hall, but who thought it was a good idea to typecast Tinsel Town’s favorite pardoned Jew-hater (Mel Gibson) in the role of a womanizing homophobe? As Wahlberg’s dad, Mel is supposed to play a former astronaut, while his peacoat and duffle bag (and vocabulary) bring to mind a longshoreman. The fact that an abusive schmuck like Gibson is still able to find work in A-list productions proves there’s hope out there for Harvey Weinstein.