Movie Review: Bad Santa 2

I wanted Bad Santa 2 to be just as good as the first one, which premiered in 2003, but as we all know, sequels rarely live up to their predecessors. This one wasn't awful by any means, but definitely not as funny as the first, unfortunately.

Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) lives a meaningless life in Arizona. He has no girlfriend, and mostly no friends, except for Thurman (Brett Kelly), who occasionally drops by to say hi. When Marcus (Tony Cox) drops by and offers him a chance to earn a cool million or $2M with him, he begrudgingly accepts, and they head to Chicago for the heist. Willie almost declines when he sees who the 3rd person in on the deal is, though - his estranged mother, Sunny (Kathy Bates), whom he hates. The place they are robbing is actually a charity, and Willie must don the Santa suit again to get an "in" there, with Marcus again as an elf, and Sunny as Mrs. Claus. There are multiple side negotiations going on, too, and Willie must make sure that he doesn't get screwed out of his share of the pot.

Kathy Bates was new to this installment, and she was great - in real life, she's only 7 years older than Thornton, but the film explains this away by saying she was only 13 when she gave birth to him. Christina Hendricks is new here too, as one of the directors of the charity, as well as Ryan Hansen (2 Broke Girls) as her husband, and Jenny Zigrino as a security guard who has a penchant for older men.

Maybe see this movie. If you've seen the first one, you're probably going to see this one regardless of what I say in this review, but if so, at least wait for a matinee or for Blu-ray/DVD - it's not one you need to rush to see in the theater. I laughed a few times during the film but it wasn't as funny as the first one - The Kid (who we now know is named Thurman Merman) is a little weirder now at 21 then he was during the first film, so his shtick isn't as funny, although overall the actor does a good job with the role. Thornton is the same thorny Santa here, but his antics are getting a little old, which I blame on the script rather than Thornton.

Bad Santa 2 is in theaters today, November 23rd, and is rated R with a runtime of 92 minutes. 2.5 stars out of 5.

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