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Byron Shire
August 9, 2022

Cinema Review – Bad Santa 2

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‘Let sleeping dogs lie’ might have been the appropriate adage for producers to have kept in mind before proceeding with this crock. The original Bad Santa (2003) was a good idea that led to a mildly amusing movie, but its belated sequel is really awful.

It starts promisingly – on his uppers and drunk as a skunk, Willie (Billy Bob Thornton, looking younger now than he did 13 years ago – we’ll call it the Cher Syndrome) decides to end it all. He turns on the cooker and puts his head in the oven. The camera gets in tight with him and we watch his face as the bars of the oven heat up – it is an electric stove, not gas. It was a good sight gag, but sadly there was nothing remotely funny for the next 90 minutes. In fact, almost straight after this we witness the less than charming act of Willie punching his mother (Kathy Bates) in the face – domestic violence, who would have thought it could be so hilarious? At which point it is only right and proper that we name and shame the writers responsible for this horrible dross – Johnny Rosenthal and Shauna Cross. May their credits be few. But then again, with the sickness that is at large in the world now, their knuckle-dragging brand of comedy is more than likely to earn them squillions. Don’t you just love the apotheosis of the low-brow? (Thanks Donald.)

Every sentence uttered by Willie, his mum and the little black bloke, Marcus (Tony Cox, who was also in BS1), is laced with ‘fuck’, and let me assure you, it is not every day that a man as prone to ‘colourful’ language as I am is offended by such rubbish. Only the creepy fat kid (Brett Kelly) is free of profanities, but his overdone dumbness is almost as irritating. Even the sex is nasty. Then again, a ‘joke’ about the tightness of a deceased woman’s vagina might work for some of you – it didn’t for me.

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