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'Bad Santa 2' Is a Hostile Piece of Sh*t

By Dustin Rowles | Film | November 25, 2016 |

By Dustin Rowles | Film | November 25, 2016 |

Bad Santa 2 is a terrible movie. Its heart is black, its mind is cynical, and its sense of humor is nonexistent. None of the delightful misanthropy of the original carries over into the sequel; it’s just an ugly, vacuous, soulless exercise in profound pointlessness. It’s a wretched piece of shit.

Indeed, none of the subversive irreverence of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s original characters exists here. It’s a series of unfunny racist, sexist, and homophobic jokes strung together like a garland and used to strangle Santa to death. Some people in the theater — though very few — will laugh at these jokes, but rather than get caught up in the contagion of their merriment, you will feel appalled by them, disgusted that you have to share a theater with people who find the near-constant use of the words pussy, pussy lips, shitdick, and midget hilarious. It’s a diseased movie, rotten and phlegmatic, sputtering sickness into the audience. There’s no Christmas cheer here, or even rebellious anti-holiday sentiment; it’s a listless movie that wallows in apathy, lazy yo-momma jokes, and the kind of hostile political incorrectness one might expect to hear an Alt-Nazi yell at women and people of color from the back of a pick-up truck.

Billy Bob Thornton returns as Willie Soke, so drunk and despondent during the holiday season that he attempts unsuccessfully to kill himself in the opening scenes by sticking his head in the oven, only to discover that it’s electric. He’s saved from hanging himself by Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly, all grown up), a pathetic idiot caricature who brings to Willie news of a heist opportunity, which will reunite Willie with his former elf-partner, Marcus Skidmore (Tony Cox), and his mother (Kathy Bates), who spends much of the movie toying with a giant purple dildo and making fun of her son for his propensity for fucking animals growing up.

The mark here is a holiday charity that requires that Willie, Marcus, and Sunny Soke don their Santa regalia again in an effort to crack a safe on Christmas Eve and abscond with $2 million meant to go to the needy. Diane Hastings (Christina Hendricks) runs the charitable organization and doubles as Willie’s fuck buddy, but there is no affection between the two. There’s just perfunctory fucking behind a dumpster, in the back seat of a car, and up against a Christmas tree while Willie implores her to yell “Fuck Me, Santa!” repeatedly, like a sitcom catchphrase, because it’s the only way he can get his rocks off.

It’s a moronic film, essentially a bad Kevin James or Adam Sandler film with coarser language and no overriding moral theme. There was sophisticated nihilism and some unexpected heart in the original; there is none of that here. It’s a lazy cash grab, a bucket of reindeer piss, a miserable two-hours that clings to you like burnt caterpillars and filterless cigarette smoke. Indeed, those seeking a few laughs to get through the holidays will walk out of Bad Santa 2 feeling exponentially worse about the state of humanity and in desperate need of a shower.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.