Movie Review: Broad Green Pictures' Bad Santa 2 - #ThisIsBS

Bad Santa 2
Director: Mark Waters
Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates, Christina Hendricks, Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, Ryan Hansen, Jenny Zigrino, Jeff Skowron
Writers: Johnny Rosenthal, Doug Ellin and Shauna Cross
Producers: Geyer Kosinski, Andrew Gunn
Executive Producers: Zanne Devine, David Thwaites, Gabriel Hammond, Daniel Hammond, Mark Waters, Jessica Tuchinsky, Adam Fields, Doug Ellin
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BAD SANTA 2 returns Academy Award®-winner BILLY BOB THORNTON to the screen as America's favorite anti-hero, Willie Soke. Fueled by cheap whiskey, greed and hatred, Willie teams up once again with his angry little sidekick, Marcus (TONY COX), to knock off a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve. Along for the ride is 'the kid' - chubby and cheery Thurman Merman (BRETT KELLY), a 250-pound ray of sunshine who brings out Willie's sliver of humanity.

Mommy issues arise when the pair are joined by Academy Award®, Golden Globe and Emmy-winner KATHY BATES, as Willie's horror story of a mother, Sunny Soke. A super butch super bitch, Sunny raises the bar for the gang's ambitions, while somehow lowering the standards of criminal behavior. Willie is further burdened by lusting after the curvaceous and prim Diane, played by Emmy Award-nominee CHRISTINA HENDRICKS, the charity director with a heart of gold and libido of steel.

You better watch out: BAD SANTA 2 is coming to town.

MARK WATERS directs BAD SANTA 2 from a screenplay by Johnny Rosenthal and Shauna Cross, based on characters by Glenn Ficarra & John Requa. GEYER KOSINSKI and ANDREW GUNN produce. Executive producers are Zanne Devine, David Thwaites, Gabriel Hammond, Daniel Hammond, Mark Waters, Jessica Tuchinsky, Adam Fields, and Doug Ellin. The film is a BROAD GREEN PICTURES and MIRAMAX® release. In theaters November 23, 2016.

I was able to review Bad Santa 2, only Bad Santa 2 is more of a Bad Santa, Too.  It's more of a paraphrasing of the original story than a second chapter of the modern classic.  It's another one of the films that falls under the category of "who asked for a sequel and why?" What made Bad Santa a modern classic was that it played like lightning in a bottle. A Santa Claus that is nasty and mean? That was hilarious!  Bad Santa 2 is the same lighting in the same bottle, thirteen years later. And, since you've already seen the lightning in the bottle, it isn't special anymore. 

The original cast is back. Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thornton), Marcus Skidmore (Tony Cox) and Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly) all reprise their roles with a new crime caper. This time around, there is an additional member of the Soke clan along for the fun. Kathy Bates plays Willie's mom, Sunny Soke. For me, Sunny Soke was the biggest problem with this movie. She was gross. I'm all for pushing the envelope, but Sunny was wretched and unfunny for shock value alone. She added nothing to any part of the film.

The plot was basically like it was for the original Bad Santa film.  It's another heist of another charity. There is nothing wrong with that, except it's been done before. All the same raunchy, graphic humor is still there. Some of it lands its mark and some of it misses.

Like in the first movie, the best scenes take place between Willie and Thurman. The duo epitomizes dysfunctional families.  Willie and Thurman still have a great chemistry. And Thurman humanizes Willie, so that the audience can't completely hate him.

Despite my criticism of Kathy Bates' character, Bad Santa 2 isn't a bad movie.  It just isn't a good movie, either.  It has all been done before. This installment needed to up the ante in order to resonate with the same crowd who saw the original. We laughed at the stupid humor thirteen years ago, but, hopefully we've grown-up some since then. It takes smarter humor to make some of us laugh now. In that regard, Bad Santa 2 failed. Maybe a crowd that doesn't know the original film will think this a better movie. If you want to catch Bad Santa 2 over the holidays, it is playing in theaters now. 

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