( CNN) Faced with the task of preparing a sequel around the wispiest of comedies, “Daddy’s Home 2” double-faceds down on daddies. But everything about the process impressions damaged, laborious and gimmicky, from the throw of Mel Gibson to Will Ferrell’s madcap mugging, trying to substance this holiday-themed stocking enough to achieve boast length.

Gibson isn’t exactly known for his humor choppers — his directing acts have hewn more toward castigating and disembowelments — and his problematic, controversial past forms his inclusion predominantly feel like a cry for attention.

Setting that aside, the undertaking isn’t helped by a write( from John Morris and director Sean Anders, reprising that persona) that fairly transparently has Kurt always trying to foster discord between Brad and Dusty thanks to his hatred to the whole “co-dad” concept.