Bad Santa 2CultureCinemaMovie reviews
Let’s face it: Bad Santa 2 was never going to be the number one box office smash hit of the year. A successful sequel to a unique 2003 Christmas-crime-classic-meets-black-comedy seems highly unlikely and if we are to believe some of the reviews already published the film is set to be a vulgar heap of elf excrement from start to finish. Expectations are therefore unsurprisingly low. But as it turns out, the second edition of Bad Santa really isn’t quite so bad after all.
Billy Bob Thornton is back as the disgruntled Willie, still as desperately suicidal as ever after having split up with the girlfriend he managed to bag at the end of the first movie. But all is not lost. Reunited with his sidekick Marcus, he is presented with a new “business proposition”, which leads to him travelling to Chicago and into the arms of his estranged criminal mastermind of a mother. With an unsuspecting charitable organisation as their target and a whole host of obstacles in their way, hilarity ensues as the trio attempt to steal two million pounds before making a getaway to Mexico.
Yes the plot may leave a lot to be desired, but then the plot isn’t the real reason that audiences are attracted to a film like this. It’s rather the appeal of being able to laugh at things we’re not normally allowed to laugh at and the opportunity for a couple of hours of unchallenging escape. Which is exactly what Bad Sana 2 has to offer. The casting offers a few familiar faces from the first movie, who once again don’t disappoint, and introduces Kathy Bates in the role of Willie’s mother. This is where the real genius of this sequel lies. Bates is just as dark as in many of her previous big screen roles but this time with a diabolically witty edge. With even more issues than her son and a greater love for vodka straight from the bottle, this character is vulgar and limitless but also curiously likeable.
That being said, while there are a few laugh-out-loud moments that take us back 13 years to the success of the first movie, all in all Bad Santa 2 is more fun than funny. And it certainly isn’t as outrageous as viewers might have been led to believe. The verdict: an alternative Christmas film with not as much punch as its older brother but a lot more Santa suits, so it’s worth a watch.
Bad Santa 2 is released in cinemas nationwide on 23rd November 2016.
Watch the trailer for Bad Santa 2 here: