Jordan: You’re better off watching Bad Santa twice than watching Bad Santa 2.
Eric: You’re better off dressing up as Santa and getting drunk yourself, then watching Billy Bob Thornton do it again.
Eric: So a bit of background first: Jordan and I got tickets to an early screen of Allied (read our review), which we went to, but it turns out we were in the wrong theater (not our fault) and we actually saw Bad Santa 2. So. It was like being ambushed by a movie.
Jordan: To be fair and say something good about the movie, Billy Bob Thornton, and Kathy Bates actually have good, not great, performances, they can both play despicable characters and get away with it. But, that can’t get around the terrible script, dialogue, and premise that fills the rest of the movie.
Eric: Yeah I mean, I hope they had fun playing those roles at least? Because they do them well. But the characters themselves are just so stupidly written. Kathy Bates must love to act because she takes these roles a lot. Like the mom in Waterboy.
Jordan: They must’ve heard the world cry out, “We need Bad Santa 2!” and answered the call. Or more likely they got offered a ton of money for a super easy gig.
Eric: I know absolutely nothing about the production of this movie. Maybe there was some sect of humanity that was really calling for it. I just never met those people. But to clear things up for those reading: in sum, this movie is bad. Like really bad. It makes little to no sense why it was greenlit. Because, to my knowledge, the first one was actually pretty celebrated. But other than the main two characters, is there something you can point to as *the* big problem of the movie?
Jordan: I can attest to the fact that there are people that like the first movie, but never having seen it and not knowing what the first film’s humor was like, I would have to say that the biggest downfall of the film is its constant profanity and low blows at minority and women and trying to pass them off as “jokes”.
Eric: I completely agree with that. Aside from being horribly offensive, it’s also just lazy. The constant stream of sexist, racist, homophobic, and ableist jokes are the foundation of the humor, not some asides or moments. And it’s the same jokes, constantly. It seemed like they wanted maximum shock value to be the main component of the humor, but the problem is if all your jokes are shock value…then none of them are. I’d also like to submit my absolute disappointment with Christina Hendrick’s character. She is a very talented actor and is completely underutilized here.
Jordan: God forbid a Bad Santa 3 ever comes out, I think a series that they could really draw inspiration from would be It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. If you boil the two down, they basically reduce to stories of narcissists that are incapable of learning from their mistakes. The key differences are that even though Always Sunny can be offensive and crude, it’s done in a tongue-in-cheek manner.
Eric: That’s actually a great comparison. Always Sunny shows how you can be crude while being original. The cast has chemistry, the show has really strong writing, and they still tell stupid stories. But like you said, let’s hope Bad Santa 2 never gets a sequel. It’s the perfect example of a movie that should’ve stayed a solo feature.