Tony's Take

BAD SANTA 2 review

bad-santa-2-posterGiving the Holidays Another Shot

When we last left-off with our alcoholic, but lovingly-brash, Willy, he was recovering after being shot multiple times in the back while getting-busted in Arizona.  “Bad Santa 2” starts-off with a depressed and, once again, drunken Willy as he hates his life.  After a few half-assed “suicide” attempts, Willy gets dragged-back by Marcus (his former friend that betrayed his trust way back in 2003).  Marcus says he has the perfect job; which ends-up being a safe full of cash belonging to a charity.  The person behind the heist?  Willy’s not-so-loving mother, Sunny.  She has been working for the charity since she was released from prison and she concocted this master plan to steal the money on Christmas Eve.  In-order to pull off the robbery, Willy must don the red suit once again.  While Willy is forced to confront his mother as she attempts to reach out to him, he simultaneously juggles his old friend Thurman, his conscience, and being weary of his old pal Marcus; all while drinking and cursing like he always has.  The rest of the film follows their planning of the heist, as well as the beautiful disaster that is Willy’s life.

Billy Bob Thornton is back as the strangely-lovable Willy Soke.  Thornton gets to drink, cuss, and womanize even more this time around, something that he is great at and it’s great to see him back as the character once again.  Kathy Bates showcases her talent by playing Willy’s equally-disturbing mother, Sunny.  Bates too has a lot of fun with her lines, saying some sentences she probably never thought she’d ever speak!  Tony Cox returns as Willy’s sidekick, Marcus Skidmore.  Cox too shines alongside Thornton; the touch bounce joke-after-joke off of each other as if it was yesterday.  Christina Hendricks plays the charity’s co-founder and former alcoholic, Diane Hastings.  Brett Kelly returns as the all-too-famous character of Thurman Merman.  Ryan Hansen plays Diane’s husband and charity co-founder, Regent Hastings.  Jenny Zigrino plays a promiscuous security guard named Gina.  Jeff Skowron plays the charity’s overbearing and grammatically-proper Head of security, Dorfman.  Octavia Spencer briefly reprises her role as Opal, a prostitute.

“Bad Santa 2” revisits the oddly-lovable Willy Soke, but while the first film had so much heart as well as the outrageous comedy, the sequel trades that “heart” in for even-more shocking and raunchy comedy.  Thornton and Cox prove they still have their tremendous chemistry, hurling insult after insult in convincing fashion.  Bates is a very welcome addition as-well and, although her character arc is predictable, she brings plenty of comedic relief.  As you would hope, the comedy brings you right back to the World of “Bad Santa”.  Many of the jokes cause outbursts of laughter, whether it’s the sexual jokes, midget jokes (there are so many fantastic “Wizard of Oz” jokes), or any other of the incredibly-raunchy comedy.  I truly laughed from start to finish, even though a lot of the jokes were low-brow and crude.  I went-into “Bad Santa 2” expecting exactly what I got, a brash and offensive comedy that provides plenty of laughter and shock value.  One of the biggest reasons “Bad Santa” went-on to become the Christmas Classic that it is because of its heart.  Willy is shown to be foul-mouthed, an alcoholic, and an unpleasant person, but we end-up rooting for him because of the real heart and care he shows throughout; a perfect balance.  “Bad Santa 2” really tries to go over-the-top with the jokes, with some truly outrageous insults hurled throughout the film; ones that had me in shock that they took it so far.  In exchange, very little of Willy’s “good” side is shown, which ultimately ends up being a letdown.  One of its saving graces is the inclusion of Thurman (Brett Kelly), providing a side story arc to humanize Willy a little more.  “Bad Santa 2” has a run time of 92 minutes, giving us the perfect allotment of time to spend with these lowlife characters we somehow have come to love over the last 13 years.  All in all, “Bad Santa 2” is a fun and formulaic sequel that often goes over-the-top on the jokes, but it will surely make you laugh and fans of the original will be happy to see Willy and Marcus together again!  And it’s even raunchier than the original!

“Bad Santa 2” reunites Willy and Marcus as they plan a new heist, this time involving Willy’s estranged mother.  The film features plenty of hilarious jokes, antics, and our lovable Christmas Santa, Willy!  If you are heading to the movies this weekend and you liked the original, go see “Bad Santa 2”!  Otherwise, there are better films to see this weekend!  

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BAD SANTA 2 is rated R for crude sexual content and language throughout, and some graphic nudity, in theaters NOVEMBER 23RD! 

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