Most would agree the Willie Sokes aka Bad Santa was a role that Billy Bob Thorton was meant to play. The first was raunchy, funny, and gave us a pretty dirty look at every one's favorite, "good will towards humanity," holiday. There is a challenge to movies like this. It is tough to capture the same magic twice.
Bad Santa 2 comes close. Billy Bob is still the lowest of human beings, his not so faithful dwarf sidekick (Tony Cox) is out of prison, and his horrible excuse for a mother (Kathy Bates) joins the cast. This time around Marcus drags Willie to Chicago to steal millions from a charity. The problem is Willie's mother is also involved and he doesn't like her much. The head of the charity is corrupt, his wife tries to help Willie, and the same raunchy humor is definitely in play. The location change feels fresh. They also do a good job of blending similar jokes with new scenarios.
The best part of the movie is an older Brett Kelly as the loveable Thurman Murman. He's older, but still worshiping Willie and he is definitely the heart of the film. If Willie has any form of conscience at all, it is because of Thurman. Make no mistake, he is still a horrible human being, but he does have a soft spot for Thurman. Christina Hendricks is Willie's love interest and their trip to AA is entertaining. Bates as his mother is what you would expect.
The story isn't the same, but what we loved about the character is. It's a lot of swearing and still extrememly funny. The original is still one of a kind. This one does feel like it's missing the late Bernie Mac and John Ritter, but there isn't room for those characters in Chicago. They took Santa out of the mall, but still managed to provide new laughs, new people, and kept it under to hours. Not the original, but close enough for a good sequel.