This ‘Santa’ is more sad than bad



Grade: 1.5 out of 4 stars

Rating: R for crude sexual content and language throughout, and some graphic nudity.

By Colin Covert

Star Tribune (Minneapolis) (TNS)

“Bad Santa 2” is a lazy sequel like a lump of coal in a dirty stocking.

Billy Bob Thornton is back in his grody Kris Kringle disguise, his highly combustible temper out of control just as before. This time, though, he’s giving his impressive all to rework jokes more than a dozen years past their expiration date. Rather than finding humor in breaking taboos, this version is an endless quest for the easiest way to a punch line.

In this follow-up helmed by Mark Waters, we reconnect with Willie while he is in a suicidal funk about his permanent position at the bottom of life’s barrel.

The film’s power dive pauses for a bit as we are introduced to Willie’s much-loathed mother, Sunny (Kathy Bates), who is as sweet as a gingerbread cookie filled with razors.

The new cast members keep the film from being wholly devoid of laughs. But their arrival is as far as the film tries to stretch itself, challenge viewers or even function as a well-honed movie. Waters gives “Bad Santa 2” the static look of a low-rated network sitcom, and the plot is so muddled it seems to have been stitched together from the dregs of multiple ditched drafts.

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