“Bad Santa” was praised by critics in 2003, but 13 years later, it’s getting panned.
The sequel, once again starring Billy Bob Thornton as the eponymous grinch, has a mere 25 percent approval rating from critics counted so far on Rotten Tomatoes. Unflattering adjectives being used to describe the raunchy R-rated comedy include “despicable,” “mean-spirited,” “vile” and “lazy.”
“‘Bad Santa 2’ is the re-gift that stops with you, the kind that winds up in a landfill,” TheWrap’s film critic Dave White wrote in his review. “It’s tedious and lifeless, a waste of precious time, and ultimately, an exhausting example of what people should really be talking about when they decide to annoy you with rants about the War on Christmas.”
Mark Waters directed the film co-starring Kathy Bates, Christina Hendricks, Brett Kelly and Tony Fox.
Read 7 of the worst reviews below.
Matt Singer, Screen Crush:
“It’s hard to shock people, even with edgy language and frank sexuality, when you’re reproducing something everyone’s seen before. Even the outcome isn’t that surprising. The reality is ‘Bad Santa’ shouldn’t have worked once. A Christmas movie with genuine heart and sex jokes? Pulling that off was impossible. Pulling it off twice would have been a bona fide Christmas miracle.”
Sean P. Means, The Salt Lake Tribune:
“Like the 2003 original, the comedy ‘Bad Santa 2’ is a foul-mouthed and mean-spirited Christmas tale — but, unlike the original, it loses its nerve in the final reel with a stab at unearned redemption.”
Soren Andersen, Seattle Times:
“If ever there was a movie that should never have been made, ‘Bad Santa 2’ is that movie. It’s vile, like something written by a pen dipped in bile. Its dialogue is a gushing sewer of obscenity. After watching it, a viewer may feel the need to take a nice, long hot shower to wash the experience off.”
Matt Donato, We Got This Covered:
“This holiday season, why not distract yourself from all the seething hate around you with more hate on screen? Admittedly, Terry Zwigoff’s ‘Bad Santa’ is a raucous Christmas comedy that jingles my bells – but ‘Bad Santa 2’ is downright despicable. Mean-spirited, perverse and emptier than an alcoholic’s three-day-old vodka bottle.”
Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post:
“‘Bad Santa 2’ insults the intelligence and taste of the first film’s audience by including all of the biliousness and vulgarity of the first film, but none — or precious little — of its scabrous joie de vivre.”
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune:
“In calling ‘Bad Santa 2’ the feel-bad movie of the season, let me be clear: I don’t mean that it revives the rude-and-crude fun of the original hit, which turned the traditional Christmas film on its head. I mean the opposite. Trying to recapture that dark magic doesn’t work the second time around. This lazy sequel is a lump of coal in a dirty stocking.”
Kyle Smith, New York Post:
“A lot of this is funny, and a lot of it isn’t. Screenwriters Johnny Rosenthal and Shauna Cross act as though they’re being paid by the dirty word, cramming virtually every conversation with so many insults and gross-out jokes at the expense of plot development that the movie becomes a surprisingly long sit. It plays like an imitation more than a follow-up — as if it were written by adolescents who have just discovered swear words or as a tribute act to a so-so insult comic — say, Andrew Dice Clay. Many of the best scenes in the original (written by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, now two of the hottest writers in the business) weren’t even especially profane.”