92 minutes, Comedy
On paper, the stats don’t look good for BAD SANTA 2. Rewind back 13 years to the first film which had reputable names attached to it including Joel & Ethan Coen (TRUE GRIT, THE BIG LEBOWSKI), Harvey & Bob Weinstein (PULP FICTION), Glenn Ficarra & John Requa (FOCUS) and GHOSTWORLD director Terry Zwigoff. All of whom have no contribution to this sequel. Gilmore Girls star Lauren Graham could not reprise her role due to the show’s revival commitments either. Furthermore, the BAD SANTA 2 premise is exactly the same, except we substitute department stores for a Christmas Eve charity event as the targeted location for a theft that Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) and Marcus (Tony Cox) have planned. The only significant alteration in proceedings sits solely with the unexpected appearance of Willie’s Mum, Sunny (Kathy Bates).
On paper, there is no denying that the 2003 original is a better movie. Simply for having a more devised plot and decidedly risqué writing. 2016, for some unasked-for reason, has been the year for long-distanced sequels/remakes/prequels (BLAIR WITCH, BRIDGET JONES’S BABY, INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE ,MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2 and GHOSTBUSTERS). Almost all will fall among the year’s worst films (Not you Bridget or Dory, you’re safe!). BAD SANTA 2 isn’t quite as poor as most of those aforementioned films, as it lazily re-formats and repeats most of what worked well for it 13 years ago.
Despite the original being better on paper, BAD SANTA 2 isn’t completely without its moments of joy. Having personally found the 2003 film overrated, boring and pretty unfunny, it must be said that this sequel is far less annoying to watch and its characters are slightly more tolerable. Without a doubt, the presence of Kathy Bates and the grotesque character she plays sharpens this blunt sequel in almost every scene she is in. So whilst BAD SANTA 2 arguably never had much to improve on, it’s certainly an easier one to dismissively enjoy.
2 out of 5
BAD SANTA 2
MA15+ – Strong crude sexual humour, sex scenes and coarse language
Viewers should also be warned that BAD SANTA 2 also contains some graphic nudity which is not mentioned in the film classification.
Moviedoc wishes to thank Sophie from Madman, Madman Cinema and Village Cinemas Southland for the invitation to the screening of BAD SANTA 2.
Review by Moviedoc
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