With Christmas just round the corner it was about time that we got hit with our first seasonal film of the year. Kicking it off is the return of Billy Bob Thornton in his big red suit, reprising his role as the hard-drinking, potty-mouthed Father Christmas, Willie Soke, in this long-awaited sequel, Bad Santa 2.
Set 13 years on from its predecessor, Bad Santa 2 sees the reteaming of Willie and his diminutive sidekick Markus (Tony Cox), taking on their latest seasonal escapade, this time in partnership with Willie’s mother Sunny, played by Kathy Bates. But this time, they’re no longer targeting shopping malls, oh no; their moral compasses turn further south as they plan to rob a Chicago homeless charity. Brett Kelly also reprises his role as the now-adult (but seemingly more gullible and naïve) Thurman Merman, Willie’s unwanted but loyal companion. Christina Hendricks takes on the role of being the next victim of Willie’s rather distasteful and dubious charm, becoming what Thurman would call “Mrs Santa’s Sister.”
“The film tries too hard to be what it expects the audience wants it to be: filthy and foulmouthed”
More a compilation of insults, degradation and casual cruelty than an actual film, which, to be honest, does in fact cause you to repeatedly find yourself laughing, but also makes the whole picture one of desperation and neediness. The film tries too hard to be what it expects the audience wants it to be: filthy and foulmouthed, which becomes rather distracting as it pulls your attention away from the actual plot of the film. It lacks the wit and depth that the original film surprisingly possessed, despite the filmmakers having 13 years to come up with a worthy sequel.. This is not unexpected, but quite disappointing at the same time.
Although not the accidental success of its cult-classic predecessor, Bad Santa 2 still provides you with plenty of laughs and filthy one-liners. Go in with no real expectations and there is a very high chance you will be leaving with a smile on your face.
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