Title – Bad Santa 2 (2016)
Director – Mark Waters (Mean Girls)
Cast – Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Kathy Bates, Brett Kelly, Christina Hendricks
Plot – Hitting a new rock bottom, petty thief and Santa impersonator Willie Soke (Thornton) finds himself teaming up with one time partner in crime Marcus Skidmore (Cox) and his very own estranged mother Sunny (Bates) to make it rich by robbing a Xmas themed charity of millions of dollars.
“I trust her about as far as I can throw you… And I trust you about as far as I can throw her”
Review by Eddie on 29/11/2016
Showing that lightning often doesn’t strike twice, especially when it comes to unexpected hit comedies (The Hangover series, Nutty Professor etc.), Bad Santa 2 is a pale imitation of the cult 2003 hit that saw Xmas painted blacker than black thanks to Billy Bob Thornton’s alcoholic Santa/petty thief Willie Soke and his partnership with dwarf acquaintance Marcus Skidmore.
Giving Thornton his best role in a number years and taking the idea of Xmas movies to a whole new smut-filled level, Terry Zwigoff’s original film was one of those experiences you find yourself enjoying more than you know you should and with side characters like the loveable Thurman Murman along for the ride, Bad Santa has found itself a nice long shelf life as fans continue to come back to it all these years later.
With Mean Girls director Mark Waters now at the helm, Bad Santa 2 seemed poised to at least be a respectable follow up to its original incarnation, especially with the cast all returning including the now non-acting Brett Kelly as Thurman and the addition of Kathy Bates going into beast mode as Willie’s estranged mother who just so happens to be the criminals new contact for a planned charity robbery, but Bad Santa 2 feels like an event too long between drinks and the cast seem to know it.
Looking bored and injecting nothing into their respective roles, Thornton and Cox spit out dialogue without an ounce of charisma while Kelly should’ve stayed away from an acting return with his pointless reiteration of Thurman (a character that adds nothing to proceedings), who now just annoys rather than brings smiles and the whole Bad Santa lifeblood of smutty jokes, horny Saint Nicks and holiday thieving feels outdated in today’s climate portrayed as it is here.
This is a shame for all involved, as it does feel as though another Bad Santa done well, could’ve fitted in nicely with the festive season now upon us but even diehard fans of Willie and Marcus will be finding themselves returning to the original in years to come and forgetting this sequel even happened.
There are glimmers of a funny black comedy here, small bits of dialogue are too outrageous not to laugh at while the very idea of this “bad” Santa is still funny but with a rather uninspired plot, tiresome performance’s and an over reliance on filthy words and scenarios the whole idea of this project feels forced, whereas the first Bad Santa journey felt like a breathe of booze filled fresh air in a sub-genre of Xmas tales that had grown rather stale.
1 ½ non-desirable bunkbed buddies out of 5