Be Extremely Hesitantly Excited For Bad Santa 2

It’s a boiling hot July day! What better time to remind you that Bad Santa 2 is inexplicably still coming out? 

Now, I loved the first movie. To this day, I think it’s the only movie starring Billy Bob Thornton that has fully and properly captured his maximum “Billy Bobbiness.” His Bad Santa character, Willie, was such a deplorable, hateful drunk that you couldn’t help but love the man. From nearly the opening “Willie in his natural state” scene, I knew I was going to adore this movie.

What’s more, the rest of the cast is fully on-point at all times. Tony Cox and John Ritter were the perfect straight-man foils to Billy Bob’s trainwreck. Almost all of the laughs in the movie are largely due to their horrified reactions to the awful, just hate-fueled bile Willie was spitting.

Lauren Graham is wonderful as Sue, Willie’s “quietly crazy” girlfriend. She’s usually not one of the funnier characters, but she’s a critical addition to the cast. That and there’s always the “fuck me, Santa” scene that I’m sure none of us will ever truly forget.

The first Bad Santa is hands-down my favorite Christmas movie. For me, the best aspect is Willie’s character development. In a typical movie like this, the grumpy lead will start off angry but gradually soften to reveal that he has a heart of gold.

This only kind-of sort-of happens to Willie. Barely.

Willie doesn’t really learn to be a good person as much as he learns to channel his violent, drunken behavior in a vaguely more positive direction. Vaguely. See here:

The original film is definitely one of my favorite comedies, but I’m very hesitant about this sequel.

  1. It’s been in a weird development hell for years. That’s rarely a good sign.
  2. Unfortunately, two of the star players from the first film are no longer with us. I’d say a good 25% of what made Bad Santa great was John Ritter’s nervous easily-offended reactions. Tack on another 25% for Bernie Mac’s character’s casual dismissal of anything and everything.

    (Granted, bringing Mac’s character back wouldn’t be likely no matter what, but either way, this Mac-less sequel will surely feel his absence.)

    No matter how you slice it, Bad Santa 2 losing half the magic of the original.

(Half.)

I’ll be keeping my eyes on this sequel, but I’m definitely very leery about it. We’ll see what happens.