Giving the holidays another shot.

Bad Santa 2
2016 | R | 1 Hr. 32 Min | Comedy | Marimax

Director: Mark Waters
Johnny Rosenthal
Shauna Cross

Billy Bob Thornton
Kathy Bates
Tony Cox

Fueled by cheap whiskey, greed, and hatred, Willie teams up once again with his angry little sidekick, Marcus, to knock off a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve.

Billy Bob Thornton’s returns as Willie, the alcoholic safecracker of “Bad Santa.” fame.  As much as Terry Zwigoff’s 2003 film relied on the spectacle of Mr. Thornton soiling himself in a Santa suit or saying unspeakable things to children, the performance was a master class in timing and sly reaction that only Thornton could have played. Yet even the profanity has lost its zing the second time around. Which mostly prompts admiration for how far Zwigoff ran with one joke. When we re-meet Willie, he is working as a valet parking attendant, a job that goes south after he is distracted by a breastfeeding mother and so the bad humor begins. 

This time around Willie heads to my sweet home Chicago to target a charity run by Diane (Christina Hendricks) and by her unfaithful husband (Ryan Hansen), who pockets most of the revenue. Dismayed about ripping off do-gooders Willie is not above beating up a street Santa who gets into a dispute with him over a spot to stand.  As well as Willie trying to get the kid deflowered for his 21st birthday Bad Santa 2 is different from his humble beginnings as this movie tries to find a heart along the way. 

Under all the sex jokes and odd timing, I had a better time with Bad Santa 2 than I did with the first one. I found myself laughing a little harder this time and maybe most of that was from Kathy Bates who plays Willie’s mom and whom Willie resents. Her remarks about her careless parenting “Hell, I didn’t even know I’d given birth until I’d tripped over him” constitute the movie’s best effort at a running joke, and while Bates can be a nimble scene stealer, decking her out in tattoos and punk jewelry is not enough to spark an uninspired script at times. 

In the end, I really enjoyed Bad Santa 2 enough that I would watch it again someday I just wish they would have picked a clearer path do you want a  rhonchi movie or a heartfelt bad humor movie you can't do both even though they tried.

Still giving Bad Santa 2 - 3 Ninja Samurai's out of 5


  1. I haven't seen either "Bad Santa" movie although they are definitely on my "to see" list. And I love Kathy Bates, so even more reason to get my rear in gear and watch!


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