Blu-ray Review: BAD SANTA 2

BAD SANTA 2 was directed by Mark Waters and stars Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Christina Hendricks, Brett Kelly, and Kathy Bates.

Fueled by cheap whiskey and greed, Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thornton), teams up once again with his angry sidekick, Marcus (Tony Cox), to knock off a Chicago charity run by curvaceous Diane (Christina Hendricks). But the arrival of Willie’s horror story of a mother, Sunny (Kathy Bates), and “the kid” – Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly) – may upset their plan. You better watch out, Bad Santa 2 is coming to town!

The movie picks up a decade or so later after the first one and follows Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thorton) who gets lured into taking a heist job by his long-time nemesis Marcus Skidmore (Tony Cox), so the two hit the road and head off to the big city to rob a charity organization. Upon their arrival, the two meet up with their third partner who also happens to be Willie’s no count mother Sonny (Kathy Bates), a woman who is even more of a low-life loser than Willie ever thought about being. She’s also a person who Willie doesn’t really want to have anything to do with – and for good reasons! Once the trio sets their eyes on the prize (so to speak), Willie starts to have second thoughts after meeting Dianne (Christina Hendricks), the big-hearted woman who runs the charity. Anyway, the plan goes to hell (of course) so it’s up to Willie to try and put a stop to the heist.

Okay, the first Bad Santa ended up being a suprise hit and a really fun comedy that captured lightning in the bottle. Sadly, this movie doesn’t even come close to the comedy magic that the first one delivered. Sure, Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox and Brett Kelly all came back for the sequel but it’s lacking in pretty much every department. The writing is cheap and most of the rehashed laughs are forced. It’s still raunchy and vulgar just like the first one but it just felt like this had already been done – and it had! Kathy Bates was brought in to play Willie’s mother Sonny and she pretty much ends up being a female version of Thornton’s Bad Santa that we already know. To me, the highlight of the movie is Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly) who is now an overgrown man child who is still as innocent as we left him in the first movie. Hey, he loves his sandwiches!

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The Blu-ray disc has a light blue finish and doesn’t feature any artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Bad Santa 2 is a comedy sequel that probably shouldn’t have been made since the first movie has now become sort of a dirty holiday classic. Most sequels never come close to the magic that the original possesses and unfortunately this is the case. This raunchy sequel is full of forced humor, cheap hits, and low blows that probably won’t make too many people laugh. Sure, there’s a chuckle here and there, but sadly they are few and far between. It’s a shame that after so many years this is the best that they could come up with because I had high hopes and was completely disappointed. Not even this great cast led by Billy Bob Thornton and Kathy Bates was enough to salvage this unecessary followup. This Blu-ray does feature both the theatrical and unrated versions of the movie plus it includes lots of extras. Good enough extras that actually helped with the grading of this home video release. The Blu-ray arrives on February 21st. Rent it before you buy it.

Distributor: Broad Green and Miramax

Run Time: Theatrical Version – 92 Minutes / Unrated Version – 95 Minutes

Rated: R and Unrated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 / Spanish Digital Surround 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features: Good Stuff! The Blu-ray includes the theatrical and unrated versions of the film, plus there’s an exclusive bonus feature that’s only available on Blu-ray. You can see the full list below.

  • “That’s My Willie” -an original animated series (03:51)
  • “Thurman Then & Now” Featurette (02:27)
  • “Just Your Average Red Band Featurette” (02:00)
  • “Jingle Balls” – an adult version of the classic holiday song (00:35)
  • Trailers and Spots (07:14)
  • Gag Reel (03:59)
  • Alternate Opening (01:00)
  • Alternate Ending (02:49)
  • Deleted Scenes (02:41)
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