Seeking out the

5000 greatest films

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Bad Santa 2

Directed by Mark Waters
Produced by Andrew Gunn and Geyer Kosinski
Screenplay by Johnny Rosenthal and Shauna Cross Based on characters created by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
With: Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates, Tony Cox, Christina Hendricks, Brett Kelly, Ryan Hansen, Jenny Zigrino, Jeff Skowron, Cristina Rosato, Mike Starr, and Octavia Spencer
Cinematography: Theo van de Sande
Editing: Travis Sittard
Music: Lyle Workman
Runtime: 92 min
Release Date: 23 November 2016
Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1
Color: Color
Bad Santa 2 is the sequel to the much loved Christmas black-comedy starring Billy Bob Thornton.  That film—directed by Terry Zwigoff (Crumb, Ghost World, Art School Confidential) from a script by the writing/directing team of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (I Love You Phillip Morris, Focus, and the remake Bad News Bears)—was highly praised for its crass, ultra politically incorrect take on holiday comedy. While I consider the original to be vastly overrated, this sequel makes it (or at least memories of it) seem like a masterpiece.

Why actresses the caliber of Kathy Bates and Christina Hendricks agreed to appear in such a nastily misogynistic picture is as baffling as how director Mark Waters (The House of Yes, Mean Girls) and screenwriter Shauna Cross (Whip It, What to Expect When You're Expecting) could create such an excrescence.  I should say that I’ve got nothing against flagrantly politically incorrect humor as long as it’s funny. But I only laughed once watching Bad Santa 2, which makes the laugh-to-cringe ratio about 1 to 22.

I’m not sure if the original picture actually was funnier or if a film of this ilk just seemed appealingly daring and outlandish in 2003, whereas this year it seems played-out and hardly any different from what we hear on the news and read on social media every day.  Either way, this is yet another sequel fans of the original should simply avoid.