Wednesday, 30 November 2016

'Bad Santa 2' Review

It's that time of the year when Christmas movies are back on TV and on the big screen. A darker Christmas film that many enjoy is 2003's 'Bad Santa' and 13 years later, someone decided it was the right time to have a sequel. Good comedy sequels seem to be hard to come by recently and 'Bad Santa 2' wasn't a film that people were clamouring for. To no surprise, the film didn't really deliver.

Despite threatening to kill him last time, Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) teams up with Marcus (Tony Cox) to carry out another heist on Christmas Eve. Willie is yet to find out that his mother (Kathy Bates) would be joining them in which is not a happy reunion. Together, the three will look to pull off their biggest job yet.

Comedy sequels can often be criticised for trying to retrace the footsteps of the first film without many differences- see 'The Hangover 2' as an example. Surely if it worked the first time, it should work again? In some cases yes, but 'Bad Santa 2' is not one of them. The film retraces the same crude humour from the first with the jokes missing a lot of the time. Thornton and Cox's characters are basically doing the exact same schtick from the first film and if you are someone who wasn't blown away by the first one- like me- then this film won't seem that high in quality. The overall story feels very similar too with the same plot points happening like in the original. Due to it being the sequel, you know what these characters are like and what actions they are going to take. It doesn't help that they try to show you the same story yet again, but with a different location and a new cast member.

What is new is Kathy Bates and what a worthy addition she is to the film. Not the kind of actress that you would expect to appear in a dark comedy like this but she sure was the highlight of the film. With Bates came along some great cynical comedy as she targeted everyone with clever insults that genuinely were funny. I wish that the film carried this on throughout the whole film as it would have been different and a worthy sequel. Unfortunately, it reverts back to its old recycled humour which was overall disappointing. Brett Kelly returns as Thurman Merman who brings such an innocence to the film and some pretty good laughs as he is completely oblivious to the obscene things going on around him. The film seemed to do a good job with relating to this character's growth as he has gotten older, with jokes surrounding him being related to him now being a 21-year-old. The film clearly had some moments of quality, but just not enough to sustain the entire runtime.

Christina Hendricks is thrown in with other side characters who lack any interesting qualities. They are simply thrown in to add more crude humour and in Hendricks case, just as a sex object. It seems to be a complete waste of her talent in what will probably be a decent payday for the actress. There are other characters thrown in that make it seem like the film is trying to build a better story but nothing comes of it. For example, there seemed to be a good dynamic featuring a security guard trying to intercept Thornton and Hendricks characters which seemed to create some good comedy moments. However ass the film goes on the effort seems to disappear to the point where you forget these characters existed at all. It seemed as if the creators were going to try but then got halfway through and decided "Nah". 

There really isn't much more to say about this film. It's basically a retrace from the first film. If you really enjoyed the original, you may get a lot of joy from this one. However, I feel that the general consensus will find that 'Bad Santa 2' is fairly bad.

Final Verdict = 

So have you seen 'Bad Santa 2'? If so, what did you think of it? I hope that this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing the film! Once again thank you for taking the time t read my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor