One of the hardest things to accomplish is to make a great sequel to a comedy.
Bad Santa 2 is unfortunately enough not one for the ages. It’s closer to the emptiness of Dumb and dumber to – another failed sequel – in that it doesn’t know how to repeat the originality and playfulness of the first movie. Or how creating Bad Santa 2 was a big, big mistake …
What makes this movie such an awful feat?
Well, for starters, nothing is added that actually makes sense. There is no real humor – just a pile-up of dirty words, cheap vulgarity and misplaced jokes. It’s like the filmmakers took the deleted scenes of the first movie and taped it together to make a quick buck.
Well, the joke’s on them, because this movie is not likely to make half as much money as the original …
Billy Bob Thornton reprises his role as the dirty, foul-mouthed Santa Claus-loser who cannot keep a real job.
It’s a joy to see him pick up his best performance again, but this time it feels more like a boring rerun than a happy reunion. Even if he successfully spouts a cool oneliner that may/may not produce a faint smile on your face, he cannot save this sequel.
The movie is just … too … stupid!
Newcomer Kathy Bates, otherwise a very fine actress, is totally miscast as the mother of the drunk & disorderly Santa Claus. She tries her best, but her character adds no extra layer to the already thin storyline. Fact is, if you were to take her character away, the story wouldn’t suffer a bit.
What’s making the movie even worse is how the filmmakers recast some of the old characters.
Tony Cox is back as the little elf who desperately tries to keep Santa Claus on a straight path – didn’t we see this already in the part 1? – and Brett Kelly also returns as the fat kid who follows the group of misfits everywhere they go …
The problem is that this once cute little fat kid has now become a not-so-cute, fully grown man-child. Any and all jokes that worked in the first movie fail miserably in the sequel … why?
Because there’s nothing laughable about a teenager acting like some dumb kid who wants to make sandwiches.
The only silver lining in an otherwise very dreary comedy is the display of Christina Hendricks – though her character is nothing more than pure eye-candy – and the ever-charming face of Jenny Zigrino, who adds the slightest amount of humor in one of the worst comedies in recent years …
Did you know?
Brett Kelly was slimmer after becoming an adult but gained more than 40 pounds to reprise his role as Thurman. He consumed many smoked meat sandwiches in Montreal, where the film was shot, to quickly obtain the desired weight.
Give it to me short:
The problem with Bad Santa 2 is that it adds virtually nothing new to an already very weak script. The old cast reprise their roles on automatic pilot, but it’s like someone made a copy of the original movie but forgot to add all the juicy jokes, the wonderful oneliners and the saucy sexiness.
Adding new characters might’ve done the trick if – and only if – those characters actually contributed some color. Instead, all they do is join the profanity within the movie and present themselves as nothing but cheap smut and foul vulgarity.
Billy Bob Thornton is still ok as the cursing Santa Claus, but he’s nothing but a dim mirror image of his greater self. Kathy Bates has never been so shallow in her life.
The jokes range from bad to worse. The writing seems to have been done by a 6-year-old. And any expectations you might’ve had about this sequel being funny is gunned down in the first ten minutes, or so.
It seems making Bad Santa 2 was an awful mistake – the original one had heart and brought something new … this sequel wants to cash in on the idea, but drops to the floor like a drunk who just pissed himself.
Can I return this gift, Santa Claus? It’s really bad …