Daddy's Home 2 Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
Complications at Christmas in Dolby Vision
The surprise hit Ferrell/Wahlberg comedy gets a slightly hit and miss follow-up bolstered by enthusiastic support from Mel Gibson and John Lithgow.Whilst Daddy's Home wasn't exactly wall-to-wall belly-laughs, it played to the strengths of seeing Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg do their thing (having had a blast together on Adam McKay's The Other Guys the two clearly have great chemistry), and was surprisingly well received at the Box Office. Just two years on and it's time for Daddy's Home 2, although this quickly turned-around sequel doesn't seek to just retreat the awkward but funny competition between Ferrell's clumsy but well-meaning dad and Wahlberg's pent-up angry-man dad (although it does), instead cleverly upping the ante by introducing their respective fathers who, unbelievably, are even more extreme than their sons.Unfortunately the shotgun assault of jokes don't always land, with a few nice concepts and setpieces, but a slightly uncomfortable thread running throughout courtesy of Gibson's character's desire to mock everything and undermine the unlikely bond between the two dads. Thankfully eventually the underlying story of family problems that need addressing comes to the fore, and despite the initial bad sentiments, Gibson and Lithgow are definitely a plus, fueling the fun Ferrell/Wahlberg antics and preventing their routine from getting too tired. It's not like the first film redefined comedy, so modest expectations over the sequel will likely be rewarded.
Picture QualityDaddy's Home 2 employs awkward family tension on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presented in 3840 x 2160p with a widescreen 1.78:1 aspect ratio, using 10-bit video depth, a Wider Colour Gamut (WCG) and High Dynamic Range(HDR), encoded using the HEVC (H.265) codec. The UHD Blu-ray was reviewed on a Samsung UE55KS8000 Ultra HD TV and a Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray player. For those with a suitably equipped player and TV, the disc also boasts Dolby Vision.
Unlikely but nonetheless resounding demo material
Whatever the shortcomings of film itself, the video presentation is utterly spectacular, which may surprise those who avoid anything which doesn't have a native 4K presentation. Ostensibly limited by a 2K Digital Intermediate, there's no denying that in reality the Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation blows its 1080p Blu-ray counterpart out of the water, enshrouding a relatively modest uptick in tangible detail and clarity with improved textures, and superb colours, made possible through excellent implementation of the format's best assets - WCG and HDR.
It makes for not only a much brighter image, but also much more vibrant, with primaries off the chart; colourful snow jackets set against a bright white snowy backdrop, or Christmas tree lights which pop with electric glows, the glow the fire burning in the background, or the fluorescent coats at the school run. Some of the kids wear red tops that look superb, and the opening playground sequence is ripe with primary opulence. Black levels are rich and strong, and even without obvious material to showcase the potential upgrade on the format - nor, on the face of it, the technical means - this presentation shines head and shoulders above its Blu-ray counterpart and makes for unlikely but nonetheless resounding demo material.
Sound QualityThe accompanying Dolby Atmos track may not exactly have the right material to work with, but is nonetheless the best possible audio accompaniment this film could have ever expected, based upon an already excellent Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core which, similarly, can only do so much with the source material, not quite making for a demo title but commendably trying hard nonetheless.
The track is not quite demo, having all the right tools but not the right material to work with
Dialogue is the mainstay for this feature, with the quick-fire jokes coming across clearly and coherently throughout, and taking priority over just about everything else the film has to offer. Bustling airports, busy school runs, traffic noises and Christmas events are allowed some decent atmospherics, proving engaging and modestly immersive even if far from engulfing. A few sporadic gunshots thunder across the array, and there is a hint of LFE action in the mix, with the generic but enthusiastic score further giving the track some decent material to disseminate, but it's not quite demo territory - it's got all the best tools but it simply doesn't have the right material to work with.
ExtrasA modest offering of additional features
Although the Ultra HD Blu-ray disc itself doesn't port any of them over, the accompanying Blu-ray disc provides a modest offering of additional features, with a quintet of Featurettes all running only a few minutes in length: Making a Sequel; Co-Dads: Will & Mark; The New Dads in Town: Mel & John; Look Who's Back; and Captain Sully looking briefly at the making of the film before focusing on the cast members, old and new, and one brief surprise cameo. The disc is rounded off by 11 minutes of Deleted, Extended and Alternate Scenes, as well as a funny few minutes of Gag Reel.
Blu-ray VerdictIt's not like the first film redefined comedy, so modest expectations for the sequel will likely be rewarded
Paramount's UK Ultra HD Blu-ray release of Daddy's Home 2 gets a rather surprisingly excellent video presentation, bolstered by Dolby Vision, and has all the stops pulled out on the aural front too with its Dolby Atmos soundtrack, and with a few nice extras it makes for an excellent package for fans of the film.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £19.99
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