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Bad Santa 2 - Film Review

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by Kenneth Lo (subscribe)
I'm a freelance videographer and writer living in Teneriffe of Brisbane. I spend most of my time conceptualising ideas, but when I'm not, I'll be out uncovering new hidden spots around town.
Published November 21st 2016
Christmas just went from Bad to Worse
Bad Santa 2
Photo Rights to Broad Green Pictures

'Tis the Season to be Jolly' as they say during the merriest of Christmases, but with the rebirth of Bad Santa 2, the year-end holidays are going to get a whole lot more 'Un-holier'. After a long 13-year hiatus, the anti-hero of festive spirit has returned to the big screens as hilariously raunchy, potty-mouthed, and sexually filled innuendo as ever.

For those unfamiliar and innocent viewers of the early 2000s, the Bad Santa series follows the tale of Christmas' favourite rival, Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thornton), who is a sleazy drunkard that lives off as a con-man and thief to whatever quick-bucked scheme that he can get his hands on; especially as a fake Saint Nicholas during the joyful time of the year in a way, Willie Soke embodies an R-Rated version of the Christmas Grinch.

Now to match the lewd holiday humoured predecessor, Bad Santa 2 kicks off its tale 13-years later with rock-bottom criminal Willie Soke who is currently financially broke, alcohol deprived, and downright suicidal. After going through menial jobs, staying at his squalid of a motel, and in debt to the point of not being able to pay for his porn subscriptions, Willie decides to take the easy way out of his miserable life. Following multiple comical attempts, Willie ends up choosing to hang from a toaster cord, but before tightening the noose, he receives an unexpected visit from a friendly face.

Bad Santa 2
Photo Rights to Broad Green Pictures

All grown-up, but still nave and air-headed as ever, Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly) surprises his self-proclaimed best friend and father figure, Willie, by delivering a package filled with money, a cellphone and a note from his partner-turned-traitor, Marcus (Tony Cox). Reviving back from the dead, Willie satirically rushes over to the loot presented before him, but only to find out that Marcus was fresh of out of prison and has a two-million-dollar heist that needed his safe-cracking skills. Reluctant to join from his past betrayal experience, Willie still decides to team-up with Marcus in the winter wonderland of Chicago for another Christmas debauchery.

Arriving in the chilly city, Willie learns that the ingenious heist plan is to steal from a local charity that employs the holiday spirit to gather up street-side donations, which is organised by honest director Diane (Christina Hendricks, Mad Men) and her seedy husband, Regent (Ryan Hansen). Before suiting up as good old Saint Nick once again, Willie discovers that Marcus' so-called confidentiality partner is none other than his long estranged, demeaning, and obnoxious ex-con of a mother, Sunny Soke (Kathy Bates, AHS).

Bad Santa 2
Photo Rights to Broad Green Pictures

As the grand scheme starts to unfold, the three crooks dress up as fellow volunteers of the charity, Willie the wretched Santa Claus of Sin, Marcus the short-tempered Elf of Burglary, and Sunny the vile two faced Mrs Claus. With the most incompatible trio of thieving history, will any of them survive the potential betrayal, back stabbings, and deep-rooted issues from this unfaithful Christmas tale?

With the reputation of the first Bad Santa on the line, fans would be pleased that the dark humour and crude jokes had still made favourable impressions throughout the movie. Willie and Marcus are still an insatiable duo of indecency and profane banters, but what truly ties this sequel together is the hysterical one-liners from Sunny that completely shuts everyone down. So prepare yourself for this wickedly tasteful Christmas comedy that will grace the screens with laughter, joy, and nastiness.

Production companies: Broad Green Pictures, Miramax, Ingenious Media

Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, Kathy Bates, Christina Hendricks, Ryan Hansen

Producers: Andrew Gunn, Geyer Kosinski

Director: Mark Waters

Screenwriters: Johnny Rosenthal, Shauna Cross

Director of photography: Theo van de Sande
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*Kenneth Lo was invited as a guest
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Where: All Cinemas across Australia
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