BAD SANTA 2 [2016]

Directed by Mark Waters

Written by Johnny Rosenthal, Shauna Cross,

Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates, Tony Cox, Christina Hendricks


I’ll admit, this is a sequel I was looking forward to when I first heard about it. I love Billy Bob, and I loved the original, which had a lot of humour that, for its time, was pretty fresh. Of course, vulgarity is now the norm when it comes to US comedy, so I think that it is apt that this film veers away from vulgar humour… for the most part.

Sure, there are a few dirty jokes… well, quite a few of them, but they are well written and damned funny, and are in the minority when it comes to the rest of the film’s humour. This means everything else is on the table as laughs come from many directions.

As a story, the film functions as a predictable but funny and at times heartfelt story about Willie’s take on Christmas, and his old plan of making money from the occasion. And when you really listen to some of what he says and ponder on it for a bit, it is hard to disagree. Not too many people get along swimmingly with their family. Many people are alone at this time of year, which much depress them even further. Past this though, it seems that Christmas is simply an opportunity for people to spend money on shit that they or their friends and family don’t need, and to spend time with them, as aggravating as that may turn out. Given this, it seems apt that in this film, Willie’s mother is on board to work what she claims will be her last job: robbing a charity.

Yep, a charity.

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Speaking of Willie’s mother, she is one funny bitch. Her explanation of why she calls her son ‘shitstick’ is particularly memorable, though she really has a ton of great lines. As does Willie. Marcus on the other hand is more quiet in this instalment, but his outbursts can be quite amusing, and his presence pushes the story forward.

Back on board also is the kid, Thurman Merman, who doesn’t look like he has aged at all since the first film, but here he is 21 and vastly misinterprets his relationship with Willie, making for more laughs as Thurman follows Willie despite Willie telling him constantly to leave him alone.

Thurman’s obvious intellectual disabilities make for a seemingly endless stream of laughs. God even his name makes me chuckle each time I think about it.

I think it is safe to say that this film does not give a shit about political correctness. And to that I say, well done! Political correctness is a cancer in our society.

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Well I guess that is it. Not much more to say, other than that this is a comedy worth seeing, even if it is formulaic and somewhat predictable. It certainly 4.5 beer - no beer topoutshines most other rubbish that is labelled as comedy these days, and it does have more to say than meets the eye. I learned after the fact that this was written and directed by a different crew altogether, but while watching, it wasn’t noticeable. All the characters return and they haven’t changed a bit; except for perhaps Willie, who seems even more pessimistic than he was a decade ago. Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed this film and its younger brother so much; it is a fly in the ointment of that illusion of Christmas being a ‘magical time of year’, and I couldn’t agree more. I’m with Willie:

Fuck Christmas!  😉

4.5/6