Bad Santa 2 Blu-ray Review
The second time is not the charm for “Bad Santa 2.”
The Plot: After being released from prison, Marcus manages to rope Willie into working with and eventually robbing a charity. Unbeknownst to Willie, however, his mother (Sunny) is also involved in this heist too. To no surprise, Willie and Sunny don’t exactly get along. To make matters worse, Willie, Marcus and Sunny are all scheming against one another. Aside from the main storyline, there are also intertwined subplots involving Thurman (who is still following Willie around), the Charity founders (Diane and her sleazy husband Regent) and a dopey security guard named Dorfman.
When the original “Bad Santa” was released, it was a surprise hit that has since become a perennial Christmas movie classic. When I heard a sequel was being made I was optimistic but also concerned about it having sequelitis. Unfortunately, my concerns turned out to be warranted as “Bad Santa 2” has very little to offer viewers.
From the get go, it’s clear that “Bad Santa 2” is lacking the creative spark of the first film. Not only is it missing the original writing and directing team, but it’s also sadly missing many of the beloved cast members including Lauren Graham, Cloris Leachman and late actors John Ritter and Bernie Mac. Granted, the “Bad Santa” films are primarily Billy Bob Thornton vehicles so to speak, but his iconic performance as Willie wasn’t the sole reason the first film was such a gem. Truth be told, the strong collaborative effort between the production crew and the entire ensemble cast is what made the first film so funny. In “Bad Santa 2,” the production team tries to add new elements to make the sequel seem fresh, but none of them pan out. One would think that seeing Willie’s mother played by Kathy Bates would be ideal, but the character is wasted. The dynamic between her and Willie was predictable and not very amusing all things considered.
From a story and comedic perspective, the sequel doesn’t fare any better in these departments. It’s rather puzzling to think that this is the best story writers Johnny Rosenthal and Shauna Cross could come up with after 13 years. It’s such a small scale and derivative concept. They also drop the ball when it comes to the Thurman character who is not in large stretches of the movie. When he is in it, he doesn’t have a ton to do. As for the humor, there are so many jokes that are rehashed from the original be it Thurman rambling about sandwiches or Willie barfing in an alley. What new joke or sight gag moments there are tend to fall flat more often than not. Of course, there are a few chuckles here and there, but there’s not a single comedic moment that will stick with you here.
Note: The Blu-ray disc contains both the theatrical and unrated cuts of the film.
Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? This Blu-ray disc boasts a pristine print.
Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The dialogue, sound f/x, and music are properly leveled.
* Broad Green Pictures/Miramax trailers and a total of 6 “Bad Santa 2” trailers and TV spots.
* 2 1/2 minutes of deleted scenes and a dull alternate ending.
* “Thurman Then And Now”- A featurette on the character’s evolution (or lack thereof) and actor Brett Kelly’s return to the role.
* A collection of animated shorts titled “That’s My Willie” which features adventures between Thurman and Willie.
* “Just Your Average Red Band Featurette”- An extra about the adult content of the sequel.
* A 4 minute gag reel.
* “Jingle Balls”- A very brief collection of the film’s foul language over the “Jingle Bells” theme.
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