Movie Review: Bad Santa 2


The long-awaited sequel Bad Santa 2 is here.

By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)

Christmas is known as the most wonderful time of the year. Personally, my favorite reaction to the holidays is “bah humbug.” I don’t dislike the message of the holidays, but the crass over-commercialization, over-the-top false happiness in advertisement, and terrible color schemes (red and green… really?!) makes me feel like I’m trapped with the Stepford Wives. This is not to mention terrible music that gets played endlessly on repeat just in case I was completely blind.

This is all to say that I tend to avoid most Christmas movies, and I have not even watched the original Bad Santa before seeing the sequel. Bad Santa 2 is a dark comedy that borders on nihilistic — and it’s pretty damn refreshing.

Bad Santa 2 revolves around Billy Bob Thorton’s character Willie Soke, his (un)trusty sidekick Marcus (played by Tony Cox), and his horrifically bad mother Sunny Soke (Kathy Bates), as they attempt to steal from a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve. What keeps Willie from being completely heartless is Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly), who travels to Chicago (in a t-shirt and shorts) in an effort to spend time with Willie for the holidays.

The comedy in Bad Santa 2 is definitely juvenile, but unapologetically so, and the film knows it. I have a sneaking suspicion that the film may not be as good or as shocking as the original, but because it was my first introduction to the characters, I didn’t seem to mind. There’s more than a few jokes where you stop to think, “Wait a minute, did they just go there?”

What I really enjoyed about Bad Santa 2 is that these kinds of Christmas comedies, the main character learns the true meaning of the holidays, and their small hearts grow three sizes. While a version of that happens at the end of this film with Willie, you also wonder if that is a good thing or not, or for Thurman Merman or not. Willie Soke isn’t exactly the best role model.

We should all take a moment to single out Billy Bob Thorton and his ability to convey despair. Bad Santa 2 starts off with him failing to commit suicide, and the only thing that really prevents him from following through is a small bag of cash and the promise of more. He’s not even terribly excited about it, but it does give his character something to do other than seppuku.

star review3.5-01



Here’s the green band trailer:

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Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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