Bad Santa 2 Review

Bad Santa 2
  • Directing7
  • Writing6.5
  • Acting7
Overall6.8

Bad Santa 2 isn't as potent as the original, but it's a dark, twisted and foul-mouthed sequel that isn't afraid to take some shots. This might be the meanest movie of the year.

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Billy Bob Thornton returns in Bad Santa 2 — a sequel that probably should have hit theaters a decade ago. The original film’s dark humor worked as a clever piece of counter-marketing, with enough R-rated raunch to please any adult sick of sucking up the holiday cheer. The sequel continues that trend, only this time it loses the clever feeling and settles for the meanest and most detestable characters and script to hit theaters this year. It’s amusing, but it’s definitely not great.

Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thornton) is back at it again, drinking himself silly, pissing himself dry and stealing whatever he can get his hands on. This time, he’s teaming up with his mom Sunny (Kathy Bates), not to mention the return of his favorite dwarf buddy Marcus (Tony Cox) and that weird sandwich-making kid Thurman (Brett Kelly).

Bad Santa 2‘s plot is rather reminiscent of the original film, only this time director Mark Waters and writers Shauna Cross and Johnny Rosenthal attempt to offend as many people and cross as many lines as possible.

And it works.

Bad Santa 2 might not be a high quality film, but damn if it isn’t the most obnoxious, pitch-black and heartless film to hit theaters this year.

I assume most will criticize the film’s vulgar comments towards women or minorities and that’s definitely fair, because the film is full of stereotypical slurs of filth, but I must ask the question — did you forget which movie you’re watching?

Bad Santa was no walk in the park either. Sure, it’s writing was a bit more clever and the film’s “heart”, which was buried under layers of darkness and despair — did help redeem the character somewhat, but that doesn’t mean it deserves a free pass any more than the sequel.

I knew walking into Bad Santa 2 what I was going to get and I walked out satisfied with the result, just not nearly as impressed.

Bad Santa 2 is written with a mean-spirited grin that is trying to push as many buttons as possible. Not a single character can truly be classified as likable, yet I laughed on more than one occasion.

Most of that is due to Billy Bob Thornton‘s hopelessly depressed and downright tired Willie Soke — a Santa with very little purpose in life, but some of that credit should also be given to the wild assortment of co-stars, such as Kathy Bates, Brett Kelly and Tony Cox.

All three help balance Willie’s complete lack of human decency to some degree, with Bates’ Sunny proving to be an equal asshole when compared to Willie.

But the beauty of the film lies with its most upfront intentions. Not a single character in this film seems to be doing a good deed. Even the two people running the charity later reveal themselves as cheaters and scammers.

So it introduces the question — is Willie or Sunny that much worse than people like those running the charity? The only difference is that they’re a bit more upfront about their general hatred towards people.

Is that a positive or cheerful message to send to the kids this holiday season? Absolutely not.

Kids should avoid this film at all costs, while responsible adults should enter this one knowing that they are not going to get a “happy” ending. This movie’s sole purpose is to prove that it can piss people off and be just as rude as the characters starring in the film.

And I was totally okay with that.

I have no problem admitting that my taste in humor can be as dark as the center of a black hole. I can also admit that occasional toilet humor and vulgar profanity can make me burst into laughter.

I can also admit that Bad Santa 2 is a far cry from the first film, but a sequel that lives up to the tone of the original, if not crossing it in terms of just how horrible the characters truly are.

‘Tis the season to make bad decisions and see Bad Santa 2. Or don’t — you aren’t missing much, but you are missing a film that’s not afraid to present itself without a filter and without an actual bar of success to achieve.

It’s kind of ballsy.

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