I’ve seen a lot of stuff in over a decade covering the movie business, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen this before: A main character from a movie with two different last names, used interchangeably online.
The opening of Bad Santa 2 feels exactly right The first movie gave its degenerate, safe-cracking mall Santa a glimmer of a happy ending, an absurd outcome for a man who had screwed and robbed and drank and cursed his way across a large swath of the Phoenix metro area. 12 years later, Bad Santa 2 finds its antihero back at rock bottom; alone, drunk, and broke. In a despairing voiceover, Billy Bob Thornton croaks out a treatise on the absence of happy endings in life — or any endings at all. Life, his Willie Soke muses, just goes on and on, consistently sucking forever. Then he writes a suicide note on an old pizza box and sticks his head in an oven.
It seems pretty silly that anyone would bother with releasing a green band trailer for Bad Santa 2 — it’s not as if this movie is for people who aren’t aware of what they’re getting into. The whole selling point is Billy Bob Thornton as a booze-drenched, foul-mouthed and utterly despicable (that’s seriously an understatement) crook who dresses up as Santa. Any pretense of propriety has been dropped with the release of the second red band trailer which is, somehow, more crass than the first.
It should go without saying, but the red band trailer for Bad Santa 2 is NSFW — or for life, really, but that depends on your level of sensitivity. If there was any doubt that the sequel could be as profane and gleefully repulsive as its predecessor, the latest trailer should restore your optimism…or cynicism, as it were. Never fear, Billy Bob Thornton’s unsavory Santa has returned, and he’s just as foul as ever.
I lied my way into a Bad Santa screening, which feels very appropriate given its amoral hero. I was still in grad school at the time, but I was already writing film reviews online, which should have precluded me from attending any sort of test screening of the kind I saw a guy recruiting audience members for outside a Manhattan movie theater in 2003. The recruiter handing out invitations looked me up and down and asked “What do you do for a living?”
So much for a Lauren Graham appearance in Bad Santa 2! Billy Bob Thornton’s foul-mouthed crook will have a new love interest in the upcoming sequel, as Christina Hendricks has joined the lineup, joining fellow new addition Kathy Bates and a few other returning stars whose names are not Lauren Graham.
Today in release date news: Guy Ritchie’s Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur has been pushed back from its 2016 slot to February 2017, with Warner Bros. trying to capitalize on the box office precedent set by another violent film directed by a white British guy. Meanwhile, the long-awaited Bad Santa 2 has been given an official 2016 release — just in time for next year’s holiday season.