It’s taken thirteen years for the guys to stage another Christmas heist, but Willie and Marcus are finally back in all their surly glory. They’ve set their sights a bit higher this time, using their Santa and elf routine to infiate a large charity group instead of measly department stores. The rude and seemingly uncontrollable antics of Willie put the entire enterprise in jeopardy last time, and thirteen years doesn’t seem to have changed his behavior.
The original Bad Santa was a cult hit, delighting those who want their Christmas movies with a large slice of inappropriate humor instead of good will. Thirteen years is a long time, though, and comedy has a way of continuously pushing its boundary further out. The tagline for Bad Santa 2 is ‘Wilder. Drunker. Badder.’ Willie had better be all of those things if the film wants to have the same shock value as the original.
Still, many fans are pleased just to see the old duo back together, with Billy Bob Thornton and Tony Cox both reprising their roles. The film also adds Christina Hendricks and Kathy Bates to the mix, with a much older Brett Kelly still tagging along.
Behind those reassuring big names is a mixed bag creatively, with Shauna Cross (Whip It, If I Stay) and newcomer Johnny Rosenthal taking over screenwriting duties. The original’s script benefited from passes by the Coen brothers (who produced the film) and director Terry Zwigoff, but this sequel didn’t have experienced hands fine-tuning it. As for the director, Mark Waters, his glory days of Freaky Friday and Mean Girls are long behind him.
While the margin for error on a satisfying curmudgeon like Willie is small, Thornton has proved that he can hit the mark. The rest of the talented cast should have no trouble keeping up, which leaves the film’s success dependent on how well this sequel is constructed around them.
Bad Santa 2 is directed by Mark Waters and stars Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, and Kathy Bates. It will be released in the U.S. and the U.K. on Novemeber 23rd, 2016. For international release dates, click here.
Do you think Bad Santa 2 will live up to the original? Let us know in the comments!
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