Bad Santa 2

"Weak"

Bad Santa 2 Review


The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with resolutely unsentimental emotion. So it's very disappointing that this 13-years-later sequel reassembles the cast then merely coasts on the vulgarity, never bothering to develop the characters or plot. It's just as rude, and it provides some solid laughs along the way, but the story never engages the audience, which leaves the movie feeling naughty but never nice.

Over these years, Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) has continued his slacker lifestyle into his early 60s. He still lives in Phoenix, and has continued to try to ignore the attentions of the sweetly naive Thurman (Brett Kelly), who has just turned 21. Then Willie's treacherous ex-cohort Marcus (Tony Cox) gets out of prison and approaches him with a big heist. Against his better judgement, Willie accompanies him to Chicago, where two nasty surprises await: the plan is to steal millions from a children's charity, and Willie's estranged mother Sunny (Kathy Bates) is organising the robbery. Annoyed, Willie instantly falls for the sexy Diane (Christina Hendricks), who is married to the charity's shifty boss (Ryan Hansen). Meanwhile, Marcus tries to seduce a security guard (Jenny Zigrino). And Thurman turns up unannounced.

It's depressing that, after years of talk about a sequel, this haphazard plot is the best the writers could come up with. Every element of the narrative is deeply contrived to merely string together a series of filthy jokes, rude insults, noisy sex and criminal slapstick. All of this would have been welcome if the comedy sprang from the messy relationships or personalities. But everything is so static and pointless that there's nothing to hold the audience's attention, aside from a number of witty gags that pop up out of nowhere. So at least there are a few solid laughs.

Thornton just about maintains his dignity by appearing not to care about anything that happens. And Hendricks manages to remain likeable by simply refusing to look like she knows what kind of movie she's in. Otherwise, the actors have little to play with: they're one-note sketch characters who are mildly amusing but never fleshed out, as it were. Director Mark Waters (Mean Girls) spices things up with some snappy pacing and hilariously coarse visual wit, but the vacuous script simply sucks the life out of every scene. If the film had actually pushed these people forward it might have been a worthy successor. As is, the original is still a classic, and we can just pretend that this one never happened.

Watch the trailer for Bad Santa 2:



Bad Santa 2

Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedy

Run time: 92 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 23rd November 2016

Production compaines: Broad Green Pictures, Miramax

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Willie, as Sunny Soke, as Thurman Merman, as Marcus

Contactmusic


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