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Movie Review: 'Bad Santa 2' Hilarious, Heartening

by Todd A. Smith


From left to right, Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) and Marcus (Tony Cox) get reacquainted in “Bad Santa 2” (Photo Credit: Jan Thijs/Broad Green Pictures/Miramax).



Hilarious with a Little Heart 



Part twos can be really bad sometimes when it comes to movies.

But for “Bad Santa 2,” being bad is precisely the objective.

Once again Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) is very drunkenly bad, which is oh so good for moviegoers needing a laugh at the end of a mentally and emotionally draining 2016.

While it is debatable whether 0r not “Bad Santa 2” equals the original film, the sequel is extremely hilarious with an unexpected tug at the heart.

“Bad Santa” suffers, in a good way, from “The Best Man” effect.

It took Hollywood 13 years to make a sequel to the classic original, which starred the late, great Bernie Mac alongside Thornton and the late John Ritter.

However, it was worth the wait and then some.

In “The Best Man,” fans were eager to see how the characters grew in their 14-year break.

And in “Bad Santa 2,” fans will be pleased to see the characters have not matured mentally or emotionally in their 13-year interruption.

The only character that has grown is Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly), who has only grown physically into adulthood, not mentally despite thinking his intellect is at the top of the spectrum.

“Bad Santa 2” begins with the prison release of the diminutive Marcus (Tony Cox, “Friday”) because of jail overcrowding.

As Willie explains, that prison must have been filled to the brim if it did not have room for the three feet tall Marcus.

Willie is presented with a plan from Marcus to rob a Christmas charity in Chicago named Giving City.

If they work again as Santa Claus and his tiny elf, it will give them access to the charity’s facilities, which collected approximately $2 million in donations a year earlier.

There are only two things stopping Willie from the big payday.

Thurman reappears because he has no other “family” members to spend the holidays with.

And the heist involves his dysfunctional and equal in the alcoholic department, his mother Sunny Soke (Kathy Bates).

Neither of the criminals is trustworthy, as most criminals are not.  But can the trio be trusted enough to pull off the caper and avoid the temptations of life that almost spoiled their heist in “Bad Santa?”

With the addition of Bates, Thornton and Cox match the hilarious trashiness of the “Bad Santa 2” predecessor.

Willie describes Black dwarfs as the Negro Land of Oz.

Sunny Soke invokes the famous lollipop guild from “The Wizard of Oz” when talking about Marcus.


Thurman tries to join Willie in Chicago by taking a Phoenix city bus that is headed to the local mall.

When Thurman arrives in Chicago, he walks around in shorts and a polo shirt despite the snowy conditions.

He even asks perfect strangers in the third biggest city in the United States if they know Willie.

Sunny Soke explains that if Thurman is not proof of fetal alcohol syndrome than nothing is.

Despite the great trashy humor, there is something heartening in the “father-son” relationship that continues to develop between Willie and Thurman.


As a result of the talent needed to combine severe alcoholism, criminality and “fatherly” love, “Bad Santa 2” proves it is not that bad after all to wait over a decade for a great sequel.






This article was published on Wednesday 23 November, 2016.
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