Directors: Eshom and Ian Nelms
Elton John has made more bad albums than good. That’s a fact. But of course he still shows the chops, those classic albums have their magical moments and he’s fondly remembered as being, well, ‘good’. To endure one of his worst songs is something, but you can easily wash the taste from your mouth via a replacement track from his untouchable decade. Right?
The same was arguably never true for Mel Gibson – and certainly as an outed racist and bottomed out functioning drunk he’s not finding any footing at all in the movie world.
He, too, long ago crossed that mark of making more bad films than good – but can you really hold up any of his good performances now as meaning anything? I doubt it.
Fatman’s attempted saving grace is a scene-stealing Walton Goggins (he can do no wrong by the way). But the closest he’s come to wrong was reading this script. Because it still offers him very little to actually do. He just makes what he can.
The Fatman is Santa – that’s Mel. He’s the “bad Santa” in this film. And he gives a rich, bratty kid a lump of coal and the kid reacts by hiring a hitman to take Santa out (Goggins is the hitman).
You might be more sympathetic to the idea. (I think a graphic novel treatment would be more sympathetic as an approach to this idea by the way). But it just doesn’t land. Any jokes are botched, all action is stilted and the dark humour wants to peak out and go full-nuts batshit. But never does. The directors hem this shit in.
I will watch anything. Pretty much. And here I think I’ve proved that.
the Bad Santa archetype worked once – in the film of the same name, but they ruined most of the memory of that by phoning in a catbox-liner of a sequel.
There are almost no good films about Santa. And though I would want to applaud this attempt to fully deconstruct the myth and send it up, I just can’t. This was really fucking bad.