BAD SANTA 2 [R] B-
The saying goes that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” but “Bad Santa 2” seeks to prove an even more specific variation on this theme. Director Mark Waters (“Mean Girls”) and screenwriters Johnny Rosenthal and Shauna Cross (seizing control of the characters created by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa) resurrect Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thornton) and Marcus Skidmore (Tony Cox), a pair of disgraced and jailed con men, known for holiday schemes. The feuding pair reunites for a new, far more lucrative job at the behest of Sunny Soke (Kathy Bates), Willie’s no-joke con-mama. While Willie has more than his share of dark spots, Sunny is rotten to the core, as seen via the barbed interplay between these old pros. Their presence guarantees that what could have been mean and sentimental stays bad all the way to the bone.