13 years after Billy Bob Thornton memorably played the alcohol fuelled safe cracker Willie, who disguised himself as Santa Claus in order to rob shopping malls during the festive season, comes this sequel from the man who directed Mean Girls, Mark Waters.
The film begins with Willie narrating the sorry state of his life whilst he pathetically attempts suicide in an electric oven. That is until Thurman (a returning Brett Kelly) walks in on Willie trying to hang himself from the rooms fan. Unsurprisingly he fails again. Thurman, who is completely oblivious to Willies intentions, hands over an envelope full of money delivered for him. The sender is Marcus Skidmore (Tony Cox), Willies former partner who tried to double cross him years ago, wants his help for another job. The target, a charity organisation that helps food and home the homeless. With no direction or purpose in his life Willie agrees, and so the caper begins to deprive a charitable organisation of it’s money.
The first Bad Santa is an enjoyable black comedy romp through bad intentions and unwise decisions, it is also one of the first comedies to turn a usually respectable role on its head for naughty humour. Unfortunately Bad Santa 2 is the latest in a growing line of comedy sequels that are shallow reruns of their predecessors. Now I’d be lying if I said I didn’t occasionally chuckle at its tar black humour (The electric oven scene is shot perfectly), but it was certainly far from the ho ho ho you want. Why? Because you can only use the word fuck so many times before it looses all effectiveness. Aside from Billy Bob Thornton, and to a certain extent the ever game Kathy Bates, there is little humour from any other character. The use of Christina Hendricks especially is a sorry waste of talent, and Brett Kelly’s moronic Thurman is so dumb he isn’t funny.
If you enjoyed Bad Santa then your likely to get a little kick out of its increasingly nihilistic sequel, however be warned you’ve seen it all before. Whether it’s repetitive sex with Santa to the painful jabs at Marcus’s height which are so lazy they aren’t even jokes, Bad Santa 2 has all the hallmarks of a bad sequel.