Bad Santa (15) ★
Directed by: Mark Waters
Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox & Kathy Bates

What's the story?

A foul-mouthed, no good, sexually deviant, incurable alcoholic criminal, the last time we saw Willie Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton) was 13 years ago. He was on his way to prison for trying to break into a department store’s safe over the Christmas holidays.

Having served his time in the big house, wicked Willie is now a free man, but life still isn’t a bed of roses for the hopeless slacker. After getting the sack from a dead-end job as a valet, Willie has hit rock bottom, however his old friend (and nemesis) Marcus Skidmore tracks him down to convince Willie to join him in another Yuletide robbery that will bag them millions of dollars.

Unable to resist Marcus and the lure of a profitable heist, Willie slips back into his grimy Santa costume to rip off a children’s charity.

Yep, this is one Santa Claus you don’t want to see coming to town...

Any good?

Thirteen years have gone by since we were first acquainted with one of Billy Bob Thornton’s most memorable characters, the sick, perverted and deranged Christmas criminal, Willie Stokes.

Bad Santa was a surprise hit upon its release, the surprise being that this was not your usual Christmas movie – oh no. X-Rated from beginning to end, Bad Santa was not a movie for the easily offended, with adult themes, graphic sex scenes, casual drug abuse and energetic swearing not for the faint of heart.

However, while there’s no doubt that Bad Santa was ‘bad’ in terms of its content, it surpassed our expectations as a wickedly funny dark comedy. Even with its crudeness and risqué subject matter, it still left you with a warm festive feeling on the inside, with a glimmer of yuletide hope and redemption at the core of this dark and unconventional Christmas story.

Sadly, Bad Santa 2 doesn’t exhibit the same spark as its predecessor and this flaccid and ultimately pointless sequel just recycles jokes from the first movie.

Mean Girls director Mark Waters doesn’t really bring anything new to the proceedings and just goes through the motions with a story that mirrors the first movie, along with tired jokes and an embarrassing overuse of naughty language.

Performance-wise, Billy Bob Thornton plays the washed-up, sex-crazed Willie Stokes with ease, but the rest of the cast don’t really gel with the monotonous storyline and sluggish script.

While the proposition of Bad Santa 2 seems like a good idea in theory, sadly the result is predictable and boring.

Final word?

BAD Santa fans, prepare to be disappointed – this long-awaited sequel is a shambles.