Andrea’s Angle | “Bad Santa 2”
The Two Gay Geeks and our Staff are taking a much needed break from Thanksgiving through the end of the year, but we still wanted to have content for you to read during that time. As such we got busy and watched all of our favorite holiday videos. Some are classics and others are off-beat and loosely associated with the holidays. We hope you enjoy our offerings and that you holiday season is safe, sane, and satisfying.
Bad Santa 2
By Andrea Rittschof
“Bad Santa” was raunchy, black humor at its darkest and yet managed to have heart. The sequel has managed to retain that same dark comedy and touch of sweetness. It even has a bit of the same Christmas charm, albeit illustrated in different ways than the original movie. Yet, while I liked the sequel, it didn’t pull off quite the same level of humor and comedic timing.
The sequel reunites Billy Bob Thornton as conman Willie Tugboat Sokes with his angry sidekick, Marcus Skidmore (Tony Cox). Marcus convinces Willie, who has hit rock bottom after attempting to commit suicide via electric oven, to join him in Chicago to steal money from a charity on Christmas Eve. Once there, Willie finds out that the third person on the team is none other than his mother, Sunny Sokes (Kathy Bates), an ex-con who taught Willie all he knows. Meanwhile, back in California, Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly) has reached the age of 21 but is still the bright, irrepressible goodhearted soul from the first movie. He has kept in touch with Willie but when he finds out Willie is in Chicago for Christmas, he heads there to join him.
In the midst of planning for the heist, Willie connects with the head of the charity, Diane (Christina Hendricks), who becomes his new love interest, despite being married. She gives Willie a second chance when he messes up and convinces him to go to AA. Willie manages to convince her to have sex with him but her husband, Regent (Ryan Hansen) gets suspicious and tries to figure out what Willie is planning. Everything comes to a head on Christmas Eve.
The raunchiness of the first movie is here, sarcasm and insults abound between Willie, Marcus, and Sunny. Billy Bob Thornton plays his role to perfection, bringing a sense of self-loathing to the part and drunken encounters with most of the women in the movie. The self-loathing makes you buy that he would have shot downhill since the first film which is good since the premise of the sequel requires him to be close to rock bottom. Marcus is mean and sarcastic, which adds to the comedy. Kathy Bates is a great and humorous addition to the cast and makes you glad she’s not your mother. She plays the role with just enough heart to make it believable that Willie would go soft and try to help her. But the actor that steals the show for me is Brett Kelly as Thurman. He is bright-eyed and delivers every line with perfect timing and a gentle heart. He also has some of the best lines in the movie, such as telling Willie that he is the family he picks and he came to Chicago because he didn’t want Willie to spend Christmas alone. And it is lines like this that elevate this film just slightly from just another raunchy, stereotypical movie.
Just like the first film, the sequel brings Christmas miracles and heart. Thurman’s friendship continues to be a source of light in Willie’s life and in addition, the character of Diane has a redeeming influence on him. Those same connections help change Sunny as well, not as profoundly as Willie but the season does bring Willie and his mother together, even if it’s not in any traditional way. Family and togetherness is what Christmas is about and this movie conveys those themes as well as the first.
The story is very predictable and it is similar to the first movie. In a way, that’s good because that’s most likely what fans of the first movie will be looking for and they won’t be disappointed. But if you’re looking for something new or innovative, this is not the movie for you. It is funny and had both me and my husband laughing but there is nothing original here. The other note, if you have children, this movie has an R rating for a reason. I highly suggest adults only.
If you like the first movie, you will like this one. They kept the dark comedy very similar and Thurman’s character brings the heart. If you like raunchy, dark humor, it is worth watching to see how the characters evolve from the first movie. Given the season, I would watch both at the same time to compare and it was great re-watching it.
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