BAD SANTA Wednesday 14 December, 2011

RUN-DMC once said “not bad meaning bad but bad meaning good”. That doesn’t apply here.

Billy-Bob Thornton is Bad Santa. RUN-DMC would have been right about his performance. He is truly loathsome as this alcoholic, anal sex obsessed, safe-cracker Santa. It occurred to me at one point that this man had been married to Angelina Jolie. I had to stop and marvel. This guy must talk a great game to have achieved that feat given what he has to work with.

I watched this film some time ago and I seem to recall that I found it funny. This time when I watched it I rarely raised a smile. The one time I laughed was when there is a brief outburst of ball punching.

The film follows Willie (Thornton) and Marcus (Tony Cox). Willie is an expert safe cracker and Marcus is his dwarf sidekick. Once a year they come together at christmas to steal the money they need for the coming year. The scam sees Willie as a department store Santa and Marcus as his elf helper. They do this every year then part ways once the job is done.

The cast also features Bernie Mac and John Ritter who have both since died…the curse of Bad Santa?

It’s all just quite terrible though. The characters of the film just seem to be a parade of the morally bankrupt surrounded by the terminally inept. I know I found it funny before but this time I just found myself feeling sad watching these people. This is really very bleak. The cover artwork makes it seem like it’s going to be a bawdy farce of a comedy but at it’s heart is black void and not much comedy.

It’s certainly worth a watch but don’t watch it to bring you a warm fuzzy christmas feeling.

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