So far, Christmas movies for 2020 are 0-2.
The Christmas Chronicle 2 was not good. Then, tonight, I watched the most surreal, bizarre Christmas movie I have seen in quite a while. It was if Santa Claus was mixed between Rambo and Fargo.
Fatman starred Mel f-n Gibson as Chris Cringle, the oddest Santa Claus you have ever seen. While you have seen Bad Santas in the past, never have they actually been THE Santa Claus. Mel is.
Just the idea of Mel Gibson as Santa Claus is enough to challenge the credibility of the film. You have to look past a lot of Gibson’s life and choices over the last decade or so to put yourself into the proper mindset to accept him as St. Nick. However, the film does an admirable job of spinning the character into a different type of Santa that we have ever seen. There was just enough of the mythos included to keep the general concept in tact, but the limits were absolutely pushed in Fatman.
The story is razor thin, but there are some fun moments peppered in. Just enough to make you wonder if this could become one of those cult classics eventually. Something that is considered terrible but still entertains groups of fans because it is so weird.
Walter Goggins played Skinny Man, the assassin sent by Billy (Chance Hurstfield) to kill the Fatman. Apparently, the young boy Billy was mad at Santa for leaving him coal, Goggins had minimal motivation for his mission as well. Neither villain stood out. Goggins felt like he was right out of the pages of a new Fargo script, except less developed. He was as quirky of a killer as you are going to find though.
There was an interesting subplot with Chris making an agreement with the United States government to have his elves work on creating military technology. The need for money and how the world was weighing on Chris was a fascinating take on the character, but it was not developed past the surface level because the film had to become a revenge flick. I have to say that the final scene with Chris and Billy was earned and entertaining.
Marianne Jean-Baptiste played Ruth, who was (despite never being called) Chris’s Mrs. Claus. I liked her a lot and their relationship was another positive in the film. Her performance brought more to the role despite not having a ton to do.
While I would not recommend this movie, I cannot deny that there are some moments in the film that appeal to the baser instincts of the holiday and that, if you approach it with the correct way of thinking, it could be worth a watch.