I never saw the original Bad Santa. I know there are a lot of people who consider it to be a raunchy classic, but it never interested me. So I had no specific desire to see the sequel of the film. I will say that I did not feel that I needed to see the first film to understand this sequel. Bad Santa 2 did a good job of presenting us with the premise.
Unfortunately, that was about all that was done well by Bad Santa 2.
Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thornton) is still a down on his luck schmuck trying to get by in life while drinking and being foul mouthed when former partner Marcus (Tony Cox) approaches him with a new plan to rob a charity in Chicago. However, it wasn’t just Marcus’s plan. It was Willie’s mother Sunny (Kathy Bates) who came up with the idea and needed her son’s safe cracking skills.
Now, I will say that the first time I saw the trailer for Bad Santa 2, they showed the scene where Willie realizes that his mother is involved, slaps her, and she says, “You still hit like your daddy.” First time I cracked up but I got quiet quickly because I felt guilty at laughing at that line. I was also the only person who laughed at that in the theater at that time, so I was feeling a little judged. But that is the type of humor that one would expect to be in Bad Santa 2.
Truthfully, there was not as many laughs as I thought there would be. Sure there was some clever nastiness, but most of the time, the script depended on the actor or actress saying the f-word or swearing in some manner to get the audience to laugh. There were a few clever moments of dialogue that helped the film out, but, after awhile, the f-word isn’t funny by itself. You need more.
And there was not much more here. I did find the character of Willie to be interesting, but highly unlikely. The relationship with Willie and charity organizer Diane Hastings (Christina Hendricks) was completely ridiculous and depended on so much suspension of disbelief that it is unimaginable. Diane became such an unbelievable character that any positive opinions I might have had about her early was flushed down the commode.
Kathy Bates was really good as Willie’s mother, and the interactions with her and her son were some of the highlights of the movie for me. The return of actor Brett Kelly as Thurman Merman tried to be the counter agent to the bitterness and vileness of the main antagonist and the others in his circle. The way the film portrayed this character as almost mentally slow was quite obnoxious.
I still think that most of the funniest parts of the film had already appeared in the trailers for Bad Santa 2. That is a danger from these comedy film that seems to happen on a regular basis.
The ending of the movie really breaks down and sends this film, that was barely hanging on, into territory of crap.
This sequel certainly did not inspire me to go out and watch the first film, despite people’s comments on it being the much better film. Bad Santa 2 had a couple of great actors (Bates and Thornton) in a film that was not very funny and depended on the f-word for laughs. Merry Christmas everyone.