Thirteen years have passed since the happenings of Bad Santa but Willie Soke’s (Billy Bob Thornton) behaviour and outlook on life have in no way changed. He’s still the same miserable drunk and any semblance of personal improvement has long ago vanished. When his former sidekick, Marcus (Tony Cox) approaches him, full of apparent remorse and with a new scheme, he accepts reluctantly even though it means getting back into the Santa suit.
Things get even worse when Marcus introduces Willie to their partner, Willie’s estranged mother, Sunny (Kathy Bates). If you thought Willie was a vulgar reprobate, Sunny is on another level. As the three plan to knock over a corrupt charity, Willie finds himself playing hide the candy cane with Diane (Christina Hendricks) the wife of the charity CEO. If that wasn’t enough, Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly) has been missing Willie and he’s on his way for a visit.
I loved Bad Santa. It’s probably my favourite Christmas film. So when I saw the option for more with the addition of Kathy Bates, I could not resist and I was not disappointed. All the things I loved about the first one are back. Willie and Marcus are as vulgar, foul mouthed and miserable as ever and the chemistry and banter between them had Mr O and I both rolling on the floor laughing. Kathy Bates is an excellent addition to the cast. She is worse than Willie and Marcus put together and steals every scene she is in. Getting to know Sunny completely explains why Willie is the way he is and actually makes his character slightly more sympathetic.
This time we have Santa punch ups, children asking for bizarre presents (a penguin… it doesn’t have to be alive), more double crosses, more of Thurman’s puzzlingly sweet devotion to Willie and just enough humanity to save it all from complete nihilism.
Not every story line works. The security guard that is obsessed with weird old men and lobster is a bit of a dead end and I could have done without it.
Basically if you liked the first one, you’ll probably get a good laugh out of this and if you didn’t you will absolutely hate it.