Bad Santa 2
Starring Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates, Tony Cox, Christina Hendricks, Brett Kelly
It’s Oscar season, all those gripping and emotional true stories hitting theaters, rescuing viewers from a summer of sequels. However, we must keep in mind that not all ticket buyers want to be enlightened, some don’t want to leave the multiplex with warm hearts, which is why the sequel to the 2003 raunchy comedy exists. Almost everyone returns in Bad Santa 2, but naughty Lauren Graham. Thirteen years after the original, it’s the same vile waste of time, only instead of one Oscar winner puking on their career, Kathy Bates joins foulness.
After trying to kill America’s worst Satna, former elf sidekick Marcus (Cox) shows up with an offer Willie (Thornton), can’t refuse. Worse off than the last time we saw him, Willie doesn’t realize that his equally criminal mother Sunny Soke (Bates) is the mastermind of the latest operation. Dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus, the son and mother team plan to rob a children’s charity during their holiday chorus program. Another blast from Willie’s past arrives just in time to complicate an already slurred and blurry plan. Thurman Merman follows his favorite Santa all the way to frigid Chicago hoping to spend some quality time with his friend. The criminal trio can barely stop arguing long enough to focus on the job, and even then, no one is guaranteed to get out of this without a venereal disease.
Thirteen years after the original, it’s the same vile waste of time.
Mean Girls director Mark Waters has fallen a long way. It wouldn’t be fair to say he made the sequel worse, because for people interested in this type of movie, that’s a complement. Thornton easily slips right back into his role as the scruffy deflated Cringle who refuses to wear that white beard properly. Bates nearly matches Thornton’s salty language, as this part two easily tops the original’s f-word count. If there is one highlight, it’s the roly-poly Kelly who gained 40 pounds to fill out his curly haired reprisal. Bad Santa 2 is vulgar to be vulgar, it’s rarely funny, calling it a comedy is an insult to the genre. I don’t know what’s worse, the stupidity of the sequel, which once again has the “F-me Santa” moment, or the fact that people in the audience were actually enjoying something tasteless.
The robbery plot is of little importance in the overall scheme of what Bad Santa 2 is selling. The insults and racial slurs are again equally broadcast to make sure everyone is uniformly offended. While Mama Sunny coughs up a lung through most of the story, Willie is peeing in the living room, bringing the abundance of body fluid and overall lack of hygiene in this movie to a level that requires an antibacterial steam bath afterwards. If screenwriters Johnny Rosenthal and Shauna Cross understood comedy, they might have been able to combine the obscenity with something entertaining. As it stands now, it’s a boring slog that fails on nearly every level.
The lack of humor and entertainment is what makes it so difficult to watch.