When Bad Santa first arrived in theaters back in 2003, it was almost like a revelation for Grinch’s around the world. Finally, there was a Christmas movie that didn’t necessarily revolve around the goodness of the spirit of the season coupled with some message love, rainbows, sunshine, and unicorns. With two thieves for main characters constantly denegrating the other, the original chapter followed Willie Soke and Marcus as they were planning on cashing in during a time when retail stores have the most money in their safes… Christmas.
And while it’s been 13 years since the last time we saw Billy Bob Thornton’s degenerate and drunk Soke on the big screen, he, Cox, and Brett Kelly are almost able to pick up with the same level of vulgarity and moral ambiguity as they had in the original, but not without a hiccup in the beginning as the film seems to try and force the humor into parts where it’s catching us up on the events that have taken place since the last film was released.
After that, however, Soke and Marcus are back at each other’s throats with the two digging at each other and dropping one liners that are cringeworthy and hilarious at the same time. Coupled with the addition and participation of Kathy Bates as Willie’s mom to throw down insults while also telling the embarrassing stories of Soke as a child and the movie is set up to still be just as funny as the first, so much so that even the jokes shown in the trailer are still funny when seeing them included in the film.
Where the movie could have been stronger is in the back story involving Christina Hendricks, Ryan Hansen, and Jeff Skowron, which, simply seems to be there for the purpose of having a backstory as opposed to helping drive the film’s climax and resolution.
That being said, the main reason we liked the first Bad Santa was primarily due to the combatively hilarious interaction between Cox and Thornton as well as the awkwardness of Thurman Merman, and with both clearly being on display in the sequel, it’s definitely a movie that fans of the first won’t be disappointed by, and would probably enjoy even more with others laughing in the theater so they don’t try and keep from seeming inappropriate around others at home.
Bad Santa 2 will be released in theaters nationwide November 23, 2016.
Main Photo: (l-r) Brett Kelly stars as Thurman Merman and Billy Bob Thornton as Willie Soke in BAD SANTA 2, a Broad Green Pictures and MIRAMAX release. Credit: Jan Thijs / Broad Green Pictures / Miramax