Bad Santa 2 picks back up on Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thornton) — booze-addled and more miserable than ever.
After reuniting with Marcus Skidmore (Tony Cox) and his mother, Sunny Soke (Kathy Bates), the three prepare for a heist on a Chicago charity event that can financially set them up for the rest of their lives. Despite their resentment towards each other, the trio must work together in order to obtain the ultimate Christmas present. Once again, ’tis the season to be jolly!
Bad Santa 2 is a solid follow-up to its 2003 predecessor, balancing its outrageous, politically-incorrect brand of humour with an amusing examination of Willie’s alcoholism and general life problems. This is glorious to see unfold and Billy Bob Thornton is the absolute highlight of this film, with his witty, vulgar moments holding the film’s tacky script up numerous times. The movie is not without its flaws though, with clunky, offbeat elements plaguing the story at every turn.
Bad Santa 2 manages to overcome mediocrity however, with satisfying returns, including a now-21 year old Herman Thurman played by an adult Brett Kelly, who continues his unorthodox chemistry with the belligerent Willie. Tony Cox reprises his role as Marcus Skidmore, Willie’s dwarf sidekick that screwed him over in their last job. Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates also shines, adding a ‘mother-son’ dimension in the most dysfunctional, immoral and humorous way. The three of them can’t stand the sight of each other, but must work together; their tension slowly brewing in a hilariously outrageous manner.
The movie could’ve benefited from a tighter story – a more structured narrative leading up to the eventual heist to compliment the unhinged comedy. The trio frequently bungle their way through the film, as if walking away millions of dollars richer isn’t enough. Although panning out entertainingly, it weakens their general motive; Sunny Soke does a good job of keeping up appearances, wearing a wig and suitable clothing to conceal her many tattoos and shaved head; Marcus blends inconspicuously into the role of an elf once more, much to his dismay; Willie finds trouble immersing himself in the role of a loveable Santa, his alcoholic odour, nihilistic tendencies and unsavoury personality polarising the people around him, often commenting on his hatred for everyone – including himself. In a remotely passionate tirade, he advises Herman, the boy who’s looked up to him since he was little, “Life sucks a bit fat one! You’re 21 now, welcome to the shit show.”.
Christina Hendricks, Jeff Skowron, Jenny Zigrino, Ryan Hansen, Cristina Rosato and Octavia Spencer round up the support cast. Mostly generic, their additions are merely foil for the main cast to shine, maintaining the tempo of the film.
Mean Girls director, Mark Waters is at the helm here and although Bad Santa 2 isn’t perfect, the cast and crew do just enough to provide a funny, enjoyable comedy that’ll have adults laughing themselves to death this festive season.
In this film, Billy Bob Thornton plays the son of Kathy Bates. In reality, he is only seven years younger.
Deserted Island Movie Collection: The films of Martin Scorsese.
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