The worst Santa of all is back and sadly loses all the heart that the first film brought us for the sake of throwing a lot of bad language and politically incorrect jokes.
The first Bad Santa was filled with bad language and politically incorrect jokes, but the thing is, it had more than that, there was a lot of heart and you developed a strange love for Willie, Billy Bob Thornton, and wanted the best for him. I was one of those people who loved that first film and although it was a hard watch at times I thought that it was a magnificent send up of the Christmas sweetness that we normally got.
Here in the second film we’re meeting Willie who is continuing on his downward spiral in life. He’s learned nothing from the first film and is fulfilling his life mission to being one of the most horrid humans on the planet. Thurman, the child from the first film, is still clueless to life and still believes in Willie, although Willie does nothing to encourage or support Thurman, he won’t give up on Willie. When two thousand in cash and an offer from the former partner that tries to kill Willie in the last movie Willie takes the offer and leaves the sunny coast and goes to the middle of America to do another job.
When he arrives in the city he’s met by his long estranged Mother, Sunny, played by Kathy Bates, and their dysfunctional relationship becomes clear. She’s casing a charity that is raising money for poor children and she wants Willie to open the safe. The rest is just like the first film.
I don’t know where to start. While watching the film I laughed through the running time, but the more I thought about the film the more angry that I became, like some form of Reviewing Hulk, I turned from the mild-mannered crutch using sex God into some rampaging reviewer telling everyone that what they were doing and wearing sucks. I get angry when massively talented people get together to spend millions of dollars on a movie and just waste all the good faith that the original film created. Billy Bob Thornton looks as though his heart isn’t in the film, almost as though the contract to do a sequel has dragged him back in. Kathy Bates gives the best performance of the film, and that’s not saying much, while Brett Kelly’s role of Thurman is more a mockery of anyone who is developmentally challenged than anything else.
I’ll point out now that offensive comedy and swearing does not bother me in the slightest, once it’s done with thought and passion. Here it’s done just because they couldn’t be bothered to concentrate on the script and thought that they would bow down to the lowest common pond scum that seems to keep these films financed.
The biggest gripe that I’ve got for this film is Christina Hendricks, the Mad Men star, who can act as we’ve seen in other films, is just given this nothing role that trades on her name more than gives her a part to play.
I hate bashing movies, but this one deserves the baseball bat with the barbed wire around it from the Walking Dead and we’ll all take turns knocking it on the head. A few jokes and moments that work gave this an extra point, otherwise it would be a one. You’ll be better served re-watching the first film again and putting this one to bed, in the basement, and then locking that basement door and setting fire to the house.
Director: Mark Waters
Writers: Johnny Rosenthal, Shauna Cross, Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates, Tony Cox