Director: Mark Waters.
Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Christina Hendricks, Kathy Bates, Tony Cox. USA 2016. TBC mins.
Billy Bob Thornton is back as Willie Stokes, the foul-mouthed alcoholic thief who fuelled 2003’s comedy smash Bad Santa. Once again his seasonal gig as a department store’s cantankerous Father Christmas finds him reluctantly teamed up with fellow ex-con Marcus (Cox) as his elfin helper. This time they conspire to rob a charity run by the straitlaced Diane (Hendricks), who nevertheless somehow falls for Willie’s beyond-grumpy charms. Complicating the situation is Willie’s mother (Bates), who turns out to be the belligerent old block Willie was chipped off of, and she’s no stranger to rip-offs herself. Directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls) from a sharp script, this sequel sees Thornton perfectly inhabiting his far-from-perfect character, to riotous effect.