Movie Review: Bad Santa 2 lazily repackages an old Christmas present

What if Willie T. Stokes, the miserable degenerative crook Billy Bob Thornton uproariously portrayed in Bad Santa, had a miserable degenerative mother? And what if she was played, with a maximum of vulgarity-savoring relish, by none other than Kathy Bates? That’s the one and only fresh idea trotted out by Bad Santa 2, a very belated (and very unnecessary) sequel to the 2003 anti-yuletide classic. Having a second member of the Stokes family around to fire insults in all directions certainly compounds the already significant profanity count. What it doesn’t do is distract much from the realization that a singular black comedy has been shamelessly re-gifted. The heist-movie plot, the bawdy gags, the ironic repurposing of old holiday-season chestnuts: They’re all here, hastily stuffed into a new package.

Bad Santa 2 is the kind of sequel that makes you appreciate the intangibles of the creative process. It …

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