Bad Santa 2 | Review

Nearly the best review of the year, or more the best eloquent Kernel Jack rant. Sad that BAD SANTA 2 is not much loved by Kernel Jack however the reviews of bad movies are always much better than the love fest reviews. On one hand I am very glad I handed out the giveaway tickets before we posted the review. I actually think this is the lowest scoring review of 2016 on Salty, can’t remember handing out a zero yet. Anyways, if you love offensive films and bad comedy then time for you to hit up BAD SANTA 2. It releases this Thursday 24th November in Australia from Madman Films. It is rated MA15+ and runs for 92mins. Enjoy Jack’s annihilation………….all the best…………….JK.


Have we really sunk so low as human beings that we deserve this movie? Have our actions throughout 2016 been so bad that we’ve been given this movie as punishment? Did we really need this to be a thing? Because my god, this movie was awful. I hate the first BAD SANTA oh so very much, but at least I didn’t want to pull my eyes out of my socket while watching it. At least I could sit through its 90 minute runtime without wanting to die, no matter how boring and unfunny I found it to be. This, unfortunately, is not the case for BAD SANTA 2. BAD SANTA 2 is on a whole other level of bad, easily putting it up there as one of the worst movies of 2016. No doubt.


Bad Santa 2 Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) and Sunny Soke (Kathy Bates) Image



Returning to his alcoholic, sex-fuelled ways is Willie (Billy Bob Thornton), who’s just as depressed as ever. As one would expect if you’ve seen the first film, his life is a mess. Not even attempted suicide is working out well for him. That’s when he’s approached by Marcus (Tony Cox), his old “friend” who just got out of serving ten years in prison because of the events at the end of the last movie. Marcus offers Willie another job, hoping to infiltrate and rob a charity of over $2 million on Christmas Eve, which is bigger than they’ve ever gone before. While reluctant at first, Willie agrees, although he agrees with precaution, still not fully trusting Marcus.

They infiltrate the charity, working undercover as Santa’s to help raise money. It’s here that they’re met by Willie’s mum, Sunny (Kathy Bates), who, as it turns out, is already in on their little robbery. She becomes part of the team, much to Willie’s disapproval, and she works as a key component of the robbery. Complications arise when Willie attempts to get a ‘thing’ going with the boss of the charity, Diane (Christina Hendricks). I was going to use the word relationship there, but I don’t think that’s necessarily correct in this instance. Also in the scheme of things is Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly), who still insists Willie is his best friend.


Bad Santa 2 Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) Image



If a film is striving to be rude, offensive and politically incorrect, there’s a certain way to go about it. It’s got to be done well, or else not done at all. If the main goal of your humour is to offend everyone that watches then great, let’s see what you’ve got. However, there’s a very thin line between being tastefully offensive and just straight up inappropriate, sexist, mean and wholeheartedly unfunny. While I’m not a fan of the first film, they did the whole politically incorrect aspect a whole lot better. It was wrong on so many levels, but they did it well, or at least mildly in good spirit. BAD SANTA 2 fails oh so miserably at it.

Every single line, action and scenario in this film is made to push boundaries, yet nothing is funny. There wasn’t a single joke in this entire movie that made me chuckle in the slightest bit. Okay, actually, I take that back. There was one joke that made me half smile, but that’s it. I don’t even remember what the joke was either, so it couldn’t have been too funny. It’s a film so jam-packed of awkward sex scenes, close ups of testacles and an over abundance of swearing in lines that could potentially be much funnier without the use of such language. BAD SANTA 2 isn’t bad; it’s straight up trash.


Bad Santa 2 Marcus Skidmore (Tony Cox) Image



The one question that was constantly floating around inside my head for this entire film was “why?” Why is this a thing? Why did someone think these jokes were funny? And why did so many talented people sign up for it? Well, actually, let’s be honest, not everyone in this movie is *that* talented. Kathy Bates, without a doubt, is an absolute talent. If you need proof, just look at – almost – anything she’s done, my personal favourite being MISERY. Her performance there is simply divine, and just writing about it now is making me want to go back and rewatch that masterpiece. In BAD SANTA 2 though, she is wasted. Absolutely, positively, 100% wasted.

Billy Bob Thornton’s career is a mixed bag of movies, although they’re pretty good for the most part, but as an actor, I like him. There’s something about watching him act on screen that I just thoroughly enjoy, even if the films he’s in aren’t consistently great. A similar thing can be said about Christina Hendricks, although one might argue that her career has had a few more hits than his. She’s an actress I really like, but wow, she just doesn’t really try here. Nothing about her character or her performance was interesting at all.


One the other hand, the rest of the cast are all less than stellar. Everyone else is either awkward, over-acting, painful, trying too hard, or Tony Cox. I mean, I don’t really have anything against Tony Cox. He was probably one of my favourite things about the first film, but he was so much better in that one than he was here, and he wasn’t even that good. Also returning for the sequel is Brett Kelly, playing a grown up version of the rather annoying character he played the first time. And yes, he’s even more annoying the second time around. God, I hated his character so much, which is ironic as he’s literally the only nice character in this whole film.


Bad Santa 2 Sunny Soke (Kathy Bates) Image



I literally do not think that the filmmakers were able to get one thing right in this movie. Perhaps the only thing they did right was get the cameras running, but I sure do wish that didn’t happen. Not even the freaking title was done properly. The ‘2’ appears about a quarter of a second too late, and it’s just uncomfortable. Plus, it leaves about half a second too early as well, and I just didn’t know what to do with myself when it happened. If they were going for a dramatic reveal, it didn’t work, although that isn’t really surprising when you look at everything else to do with this movie.


BAD SANTA 2 is by far the worst present you’re going to get this Christmas. I could feel the pain this movie caused me in my chest. It physically hurt to sit down and watch this, and would you believe that it’s not even the worst film of 2016? It’s an absolute disgrace, and yet there have been films released this year that are of a lower quality than this one is. Good luck to you. (Ed’s Note: Jack rant over haha).


Half Pops




When he’s not spending an embarrassing amount of hours browsing through Netflix, Jack Dignan dedicates his time to reviewing movies of all genres and languages, and has done so since 2012. He also maintains a website of his own – – and ever since their interview, he’s been best friends with Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino just doesn’t know it yet. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.


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