Everyone’s favorite asshole Santa Clause is back for more, courtesy of Broad Green Pictures. Bad Santa 2 is a sequel that waited thirteen years to release, which begs the question, was this a cash grab on an old favorite, or a worth successor that stands on it’s own?
Anyone who’s seen Bad Santa will know exactly what type of film to expect here. Billy Bob Thornton plays Willie Soke, a crude asshole con man who takes on the guise of Santa Clause in order to break into department store safes and reap the benefits of holiday consumerism. The original is absolutely hilarious and I’m sure has caused many awkward situations with parents who didn’t pay closer attention when it came to picking a family film.
In this sequel, we find Willie still up to miserable life of doing no good. Still drinking himself near death and hating himself, the only thing that stops him from hanging himself to death is Thurman Merman, his only friend in the world. You will remember Thurman as the chubby little boy in the first film, who believes Willie actually is Santa Clause. It wasn’t just Thurman’s friendly presence that saves Willie from this suicide attempt, but rather him barging in the door carrying a bag full of money and a mystery cell phone. Apparently someone has a job for Willie.
As it turns out, Willie’s former partner Marcus Skidmore (played by the hilarious Tony Cox) is out of the slammer and has the scoop on a huge haul. The only problem is that his source is none other than Sunny Soke, Willie’s mother (played by Kathy Bates), and the one person he hates most in the world, apart from his father.
The trio begin planning a heist to rob a local charity of their holiday drive money during a children’s choir concert (exactly the type of behavior you would expect from the group.
So the question of the hour is this, is Bad Santa 2 as over the top and funny as the original. The answer is: almost. This film is almost as good as the original. What keeps it from hitting the same highs? It tries a little too hard.
The jokes sometimes feel a bit forced, the situations sometimes too contrived, and a lot of the humor is ripped from the first film. Yes, Willie is an asshole to kids, yes Willie will screw anyone he can get his hands on, and yes, there will be elf jokes about Marcus’ stature. I found these not as funny the second time, but big fans of this type of humor will likely find many laughs. Overall, it’s a perfectly average if not slightly above average crude comedy. Plus it’s Billy Bob being a dick to children, so you should probably see it.
The video quality on this release is perfectly suitable, with a surprising number of brightly colored and exciting scenes that really shine on Blu-ray. Best Buy has an exclusive 4k version as well that likely benefits from HDR, but this review is only for the Blu-ray release.
As for the audio, similar to the video, there are several scenes that were unexpectedly exciting. An all Santa holiday rave scene has some great surround use and also was super shiny and visually appealing. Overall the track is very clear and makes great use of it’s 5.1 channel track.
- Thurman Then & Now
- Just Your Average Red Band Featurette
- Jingle Balls
- “That’s My Willie” Original Animated Series
- Gag Reel
- Alternate Opening and Ending
- Deleted Scenes
This Blu-ray release is very bare bones unfortunately, with a standard amaray case with a single sided sleeve and a standard blue disc with Bad Santa 2 on it. However, the special features are quite funny at times and there’s more than just a trailer and a couple extra scenes, so I am more inclined to be forgiving of the boring packaging.
If you are a big fan of Bad Santa and want some more, then here you have it. It might not be as hilarious as the original, but there is just something funny about a drunk asshole being Santa and stealing money on Christmas. If the original wasn’t funny to you, then give this one a skip.
You can purchase it here on Amazon.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.