Bad Santa 2 Movie Review
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‘Tis the season where people are put on one of two lists. You’re labeled as either naughty or nice. While most of us say that we strive to be on the nice list, there are some that no misgivings whatsoever about being on that OTHER list. Billy Bob Thornton is the perfect example of naughty as he once again dons the red and white suit. Bad Santa 2 arrives just in time to kick off the holiday season.
The last time we saw Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thornton) he was being chased and arrested as he fought to make Christmas right for a little boy. I may be overselling Wille’s kindheartedness here but we’ll get to that in a moment. It’s been 13 years and things haven’t changed much in Willie’s life. He’s still an oft drunken degenerate with a miserable disposition. During another one of his low points he’s approached by one of his lowest acquaintances. I hesitate greatly to use the word “friend” since the last time Willie and Marcus (Tony Cox) were face to face (face to thigh would be more accurate), Marcus attempted to double cross and kill Willie. Only an idiot would entertain working with a person like this again. Well, Willie didn’t get to where he is today by making smart decisions…
Willie signs on to work with Marcus again because….well I’m not sure why. This time around there’s a surprise that Willie doesn’t see coming and it’s one mother of a doozy. The brains behind this job is one Sunny Soke (Kathy Bates), Willie’s mom!! It doesn’t take long to see that the rotten apple doesn’t fall far from the diseased tree. No DNA tests needed here. Go home Maury Povich. She has a grand plan to get everyone rich and it’s foolproof. Her logic is only proof that they’re all fools. Crap hits the fan as you might expect as butts are grabbed, backs are stabbed and bad guys are nabbed. Bad Santa 2 gets twice as crazy.
Billy Bob Thornton (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016)) doesn’t miss a beat returning to his raunchiest role to date. The vulgarities fly like spittle coming from Sylvester the cat saying “Sufferin’ Succotash!” He is rude, crude and one uncouth dude. The same can be said for Tony Cox (Oz the Great and Powerful (2013). Nothing is off limits when it comes to his actions. Also returning looking is Brett Kelly (Trick ‘r Treat (2007)) as Thurman Merman who gotten considerably bigger since we last saw him and he’s just as simple, pure and trusting to all. The biggest splash from the new additions comes from Kathy Bates (The Great Gilly Hopkins (2016)) who just might have the foulest of mouths of all. It’s hard to believe her last movie was only rated PG. Rounding out the cast of newbies are Christina Hendricks (The Neon Demon (2016)), Ryan Hansen (Central Intelligence (2016)) and Jenny Zigrino (Fifty Shades of Black (2016)).
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Bad Santa 2 is filled with childish humor and cheap gags. There’s nothing new or original with this sequel. It’s just more of the same old behavior that audiences saw in the first movie. Yes, you will laugh, giggle and snicker. And watching Kathy Bates do her thing will have most seeing her quite differently after this. Still, there’s not much of substance when it comes to the plot as everything that happens is telegraphed from miles away. It’s not a matter of if, but rather when.
It makes me sad to call Bad Santa 2 a disappointment, however, with as much time that has passed and the talent involved, we deserved much more. Knowing all of this ahead of time should help soften the blow of expectations but it will not eliminate it. Even though I laughed, I cannot in good conscious recommend that our readers spend top dollar on this. These holiday leftovers were best served fresh, years ago.