Who knew that the Coen Brothers would be involved with a film as filthy as Bad Santa? Known for creating such elegant pieces of drama and such witty pieces of comedy, their name on a raunch fest like Bad Santa seemed unimaginable at first. Then, the movie was released to critical and commercial acclaim, and our light bulb moment had been reached.
Bad Santa, starring Billy Bob Thornton as Willie, an alcoholic shoplifting Santa Clause, is every bit as raunchy and crude as you might think it’d be. Though with that raunchiness comes just as much heart and moral decency as any other Christmas movie. For those of you who don’t know, the plot revolves around two cons named Willie and Marcus (Tony Cox) pose as Santa Clause and his elf at a local mall to rob all of the stores on Christmas Eve. Everything goes smoothly until the security manager Gin (Bernie Mac) discovers their plan. While this shit is hitting the fan, Willie befriends a young boy known only as, The Kid (Brett Kelly).
Willie then gets involved romantically with The Kid’s mother Sue (Lauren Graham), more shit hits the fan, but it’s all really funny in that miserable kind of way.
Bad Santa works mostly because of how unlikable all the characters are besides The Kid. His roley-poley little body mixed with his innocent facial expressions are the ying to Billy Bob’s beer swigging yang. The two gel in an unlikely way that will warm your heart and possibly creep you out all at the same time.
Out of everybody involved though, it’s Tony Cox’s evil but wise Marcus that steals the show. With some smaller roles in films like Friday and Me, Myself, and Irene, his comedic timing is almost perfect, and he represents how evil Willie could be, but somehow has the heart not to be.
I’ll admit, I watched Bad Santa at far too young of an age (8 to be exact), but now, it’s a Christmas tradition for my friends and me. I mean, what other Christmas movie will make teenagers come over to your house?
4/5 Charlie Brown Trees.
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