“Bad Santa”, back in 2003, unleashed quite a few “Bad” types of movies (“Bad Teacher”, “Bad Moms”, etc.) It brought a very hard edge to idea of a ‘Christmas movie’. Well, 13 years later, the raunchy comeback kid returns with “Bad Santa 2”. This is the movie that will put the “X” in X-Mas.
Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thornton) is living in Phoenix, still as bad-tempered and mean-spirited as ever. He drinks all day holding crummy jobs until he again meets up with Marcus (Tony Cox). Marcus is his diminutive friend in the thievery business who tried to kill Willie during the last heist. Marcus is out of jail and knows about a big score they can pull off up in Chicago.
Willie is a small-time safe-cracker, but the drinking and hard living has made problems for him. One of his problems is Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly) who got to know ‘Santa’ in the first movie. Willie cannot get rid of the lovable little cherub with the angelic face. Marcus is a creepy little dwarf, but he promises a big money payoff in Chicago.
Once there, Willie and Marcus get hooked into a large charity organization that raises lots of dollars. There will be many Santas collecting the loot, and if they get into the company safe, the cash will be theirs. But then Willie meets the person who organized this heist, Sunny Soke (Kathy Bates) his long estranged mother.
Sparks fly and insults hurl and put-downs become the order of the day. Thurman follows Willie to Chicago to be with him. The charity owner’s wife Diane (Christina Hendricks) finds a new ‘friend’ in Willie, because her husband in cheating on her and stealing from the charity.
The final day of the robbery is planned out, and the three main participants are planning to double-triple-cross each other. The safe is full of cash and the characters are all ready to get rich. Or perhaps dead…
The movie producers waited for this many years to make a sequel, and this sort of takes a lot of wind out the sails. The whole thing is a retread of the original, and they think that it will be ‘better’ with many of the same actors and with many more curse words and insults. Well, most of the lines are maxed out on the crudeness credit card, and there are a few that are pretty funny.
But mostly it is a failed trip down the memory chute of better forgotten characters and dialog. Billy Bob Thornton can slum down his acting ability, and Kathy Bates also leaves the award-winning ways in the dirt. The addition of Tony Cox and Brett Kelly make it resemble the original, but without the same motivations as the first one.
This is another entry in the curmudgeon Christmas movie, a small group of movies that take the light, peacefulness, and hope out of the holiday. When the title even reminds you that it is ‘Bad’, there is not that much to expect. If you are looking for disgusting behavior, crudity and vulgarity, all wrapped up in a dull brown paper, then this is the one for you.
Merry Eff’n Christmas, as Willie would say…