‘Bad Santa’ is a Christmas Black Comedy film revolving around Willie, (Billy Bob Thornton), a depressed alcoholic, who stopped giving a damn about anything a long time ago; every year him and, his friend Marcus, (Tony Cox), poses as a Santa and, Elf duo all in the effort to rob blind the mall they’re working at that year.
‘Bad Santa’ is the perfect film for people who don’t like Christmas, I know that term is thrown around a lot, but it is really true here; Willie is the embodiment of everyone who have ever given up on life and, simply said F it. Thornton plays the role with real charm too, never does his performance become grating or, annoying instead Willie is very likeable and, as the film goes along and, you learn more about him you root for him even more. There is also a sad vulnerability to Willie and, Thornton manages to capture this perfectly as you can see on a deep level how damaged he is and, this helps us the audience empathise with him.
Another thing this film does really well is forging relationships and, then making you care about them. Willie and, Marcus are a good example of this they argue a lot and, Marcus even betrays Willie at one point, but you know deep down they are family; the second film even says as much. The banter between Thornton and Cox is also incredibly strong making for a lot of great laughs and memorable scenes.
The real heart of this film is the relationship between Willie and, a little boy called Thurman, (Brett Kelly), who meets “Santa” at the mall and, takes a shine to him letting him come and stay at his house. The reason this relationship is so endearing is that you can see over time Willie grow to care about Thurman, even going so far as to basically adopt him in the second film, and it suggests that there might still be hope for Willie to find happiness after all which gives the audience a warm feeling inside.
Overall this film succeeds in every respect, it is funny and, the humour never falls flat, it has real heart, the relationship between Willie and Thurman especially in the film’s third act can’t help but, bring a tear to your eye and, as a Christmas film as this film more than any others made me feel festive; reminding me of the reason for the season.
Thornton is Excellent.
The Humor Is Fantastic.
The Relationship between Willie and, Thurman is endearing.
It succeeds as an Anti-Christmas film.
The Humor might be a little blue for some.
Reviewed by Luke