Bad Santa 2 (2016)

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Mark Waters directs Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox and Brett Kelly in this soulless cash-in on the cult cynical Christmas classic.

I laughed loudly once near the beginning of this belated sequel to a personal festive favourite and I feel guilty. Not because the humour was in bad taste (it fucking should be) but because I’m sure it was goodwill rather than accidental good writing that tickled out this solitary reaction. Quickly you realise the relentless bleakness of the original has been replaced by frat boy naughtiness… and not even the mindlessly funny kind. Then I had a nap but no further laughter from the quarter full screening woke me and when I opened my eyes of my own volition we were all exactly where we already were when I nodded off. Willie Soke of the original was a failure at his lowest ebb, all transgressive behaviour was the hilarious lashings out of a man who has long ago given up, his partner was a midget who nearly always had the upper hand, and the kid was a fucking enigma who baffled us as much as the thief – a real funny dynamic for the black hearted. Here Soke gets to insult his partner with achingly obvious jibes, who is pointedly always the butt of the joke, while the kid disappointingly just goes full retard. About as funny as a used chemotherapy drip… at least one of those went through its gloopy poisonous motions with some hope of a positive result. Disgraceful given the first film’s rare qualities… I can’t believe I’ve wasted quite so many keystrokes on this humourless cheap slither of shit.

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