“Bad Santa 2” More of the Same
By Skip Sheffield
“Bad Santa 2” is the kind of movie that makes you feel embarrassed and slightly soiled. But is it funny? Yes it is, very much so, in its own tawdry way.
If you saw the first “Bad Santa” in 2003 you know what to expect. Billy Bob Thornton is laughing all the way to the bank again as William “Willie” Stokes, an unrepentant alcoholic and sex addict who is pressured to don the Santa suit once again by his little friend Marcus (Tony Cox reprising his role) who has just been released from prison. Marcus has a can’t-miss caper. The duo will rob the safe of a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve. Willie isn’t keen on robbing a charity, but he is broke and desperate.
Also reprising his role of bully-bait, naive Thurman Merman is Brett Kelly, who has grown from a chubby little boy into a fat young man (Kelly joined 50 pounds for the role) with curly blond hair. Thurman pesters Willie in Phoenix, then follows him to Chicago to pester some more.
Kathy Bates introduces a new character: Sunny Stokes, Willie’s mother, who is even raunchier and more debauched than Willie.
Kathy Bates is a fine actress who was twice nominated for an Academy Award before winning one for “Misery” in 1990. She throws all dignity to the wind to play tattooed, gin-swilling, foul-mouthed Sunny. She blows away Willie in badness.
Christina Hendricks plays the new character of Diane, who works for the charity Willie and Marcus intend to rob. She is the girlfriend of Regent Hastings (Ryan Henson), the shady head of the charity. Of course she falls for Willie’s dubious charms.
“Bad Santa 2” has no redeeming value other than low, vulgar laughs. Happy Holidays.