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Bad Santa 2 Review

By David Kempler

This Santa Brings Little Cheer

"Bad Santa" is one of my very favorite Christmas movies. It's not your typical Scrooge redemption tale or a warm, feel good one like "Miracle on 34th Street". "Bad Santa" introduced us to Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thornton), the boozing criminal who posed as a store Santa during the holidays, while planning a robbery.

When not committing a criminal act, he could usually be found cursing at kids or chasing large females, or throwing up somewhere. Marcus (Tony Cox) is his equally foul-mouthed sidekick and the elf to his Santa. Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly), the young nerd is also back, now as an awkward twenty-something.

It took 13 years, but the sequel is here, just in time for the holidays. "Bad Santa 2" brings back Thornton and Cox in their roles and they're up to the same old tricks. This time, Mark Waters ("Mean Girls") takes over as director, with a script similar to the original. The primary difference this time is the addition of Sunny (Kathy Bates) as Willie's mother. She is every bit as screwed up as her son and she provides the only freshness to this otherwise ordinary retread.


Just like in the original, Willie attempts suicide. In the sequel, he puts his head inside an oven to gas himself to death. The fact that it's an electric oven derails his well thought out plan. This is a gag that has been used so many times that it's impossible to laugh at it anymore. Throwing this at the audience right at the beginning tips us off that this isn't going to go well and it's mostly downhill from there.

It's really not worth going into the details of the story, because "Bad Santa 2" almost doesn't have one. It's more about jokes concerning people doing things we would normally consider reprehensible, but because it's a comedy we can look past that. The problem is that the jokes are the same as in the original, only dirtier, if that's possible. Skip this remake and watch the original, again.

What did you think?

Movie title Bad Santa 2
Release year 2016
MPAA Rating R
Our rating
Summary After 13 years, Billy Bob Thornton returns as the boozing, thieving Santa we loved. He shouldn't have.
View all articles by David Kempler
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