10 February 2017 | ginocox-206-336968
Raunchy humor that would make Lenny Bruce blush
"Bad Santa 2" is frequently hilarious, if one enjoys raunchy no-holds-barred humor. In a world of oppressive mandates for politically correct action, speech and thought, it is a breath of fresh air, mercilessly lampooning every liberal sacred cow imaginable.
It is not a great film. "Bad Santa" was amusing, but not particularly memorable and the sequel will undoubtedly also quickly fade from memory. The plot is largely familiar. The characters don't grow emotionally and are roughly as misanthropic, misogynistic, cynical, self-destructive, abrasive, etc., at the conclusion as they were at the start. It succeeds in creating humor by placing ridiculous characters in improbable circumstances. The humor is bawdy, uninhibited and confrontational. The jokes would make Lenny Bruce blush.
The film fails to rise above its station in its use of alcohol and nudity. Alcohol can be used for burlesque effect by turning a normally staid individual into a stumbling clown, or it can be used to strip away the character's inhibitions, exposing raw anger, resentment, fear and other emotions for all to see, as in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Nudity can be used for titillation, or make the character seem vulnerable, primal or honest, as in "Teachers."
BS2 uses uninhibited, unrestrained, brutally honest language to convey the frustrations, anger and other emotions of the characters. It is at times shocking or amusing, but consistently honest. But alcohol does not strip away any emotions or public façades, as these characters have no inhibitions to strip away. The brief nudity seems immature and puerile compared with the dialogue. One character has on-camera sex in half a dozen scenes with several different partners, with both partners fully dressed (at least from the camera's POV). This is an actor known for a highly erotic scene in a 2001 film. What little nudity is presented in the film seems cheesy and dishonest compared with the brutally honest dialogue.
The film delivers more laughs than many comedies. Production values are adequate. Performances are uniformly excellent. The script is underdeveloped with several major plot holes. It isn't destined to become a classic, but succeeds admirably as a raunchy celebration of political incorrectness.