WHEN it comes to alternative Christmas films, 2003’s Bad Santa is near the top of my list. The hilariously vulgar but somehow semi-sweet film features a great performance from Billy Bob Thornton, and always makes me laugh.

Bad Santa 2 on the other hand, is an unnecessary film that has all of the vulgarity of the first, but none of the heart (if you can even call it that).

Billy Bob returns as Willie Soke, the whiskey-soaked ex-con sex addict, along with Tony Cox’s Marcus Skidmore and Brett Kelly’s Thurman Merman. Joining them this time around is a foul-mouthed Kathy Bates as Soke’s vile mother, and Christina Hendricks as the sweet-but-raunchy Diane Hastings.

The film is basically a heist flick, with Willy and company trying to rip off a children’s charity. To do this they pose as street corner Santas as they weasel their way into the organization.

I mean, I suppose technically speaking the film had a plot, and it attempts to tell a story, but it really just felt like a string of swear-filled lines of dialogue arranged into a semblance of a plot.

Don’t get me wrong, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t at least chuckle a few times. The movie had its moments. But it didn’t have any of that disturbing charm that made the first film feel so original.

Also, it goes without saying that this film is most definitely not for everyone. If you are easily offended, or if swearing and raunchy sex makes you uncomfortable, skip this film. Avoid it at all costs. If you are a fan of the original, it may or may not even be worth a watch either. However, Bad Santa 2 certainly does serve a purpose as 2016’s anti-Christmas movie, and I am sure that there are quite a few people out there who have absolutely had it with 2016. This movie and all of its vulgarity might just represent the feelings of a lot of those folks.

It certainly wasn’t the worst movie I have ever seen, but it was definitely bad.

Again, I fully admit to chuckling a few times (along with the four other people in the theatre), but other than indulging in laughing at a few of the extremely juvenile jokes, I got nothing at all out of this film-going experience.

If you feel the need to watch an alternative Christmas movie this year, might I suggest Scrooged, Krampus, or the first Bad Santa.

Ryan Mackett is an artist and film enthusiast who resides in Thunder Bay. Email questions or comments to him at

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