Bad Santa Reviews
While it is odd to call a film directed at a specific audience a classic, it is worthy of that title for a few reasons. Released in a time when 3D animation was on the rise, films like The Polar Express or even the live-action Elf are what many families cared more about. They were the films celebrating the holiday spirit the way everyone normally thinks of them. Strip away the technology, the endless presents, the pretty colours, and what do you get? A drunken Santa Claus that swears every five seconds, robs shopping malls with his elf, and uses a young boys home for shelter. Now, normally I would not be attracted to films like this during a season where people try to keep themselves happy, but the overall message is what truly makes this film memorable. For this reason, Bad Santa will end up being a timeless film like Christmas Vacation or It's a Wonderful Life. That being said, It's a Wonderful Life may just be my favourite Christmas film, so I am not trying to compare this to the classics, but it is well on its way for its own special reasons.
To be honest, this is a film that took some time to grow on me. Upon my first viewing many years ago, I enjoyed the film, but never found it to be quite as funny as I do now. The fact that it was so crude was also slightly startling to me, having me miss the big message as a whole. Rewatching the film over the years, I have come to think of Bad Santa as a great film. Sure it is extremely simple, but the fact that an elderly drunk playing Santa Claus can come around and begin to care for a kid that annoyed him from the beginning, just goes to show what having people in your life who care for you can really do. Bad Santa is absolutely hilarious, but that is not why I choose to watch it. It is filled with so much heart that the comedy almost feels like the cherry on top.
The title says it all, and if you are not in for this type of film, I would not suspect it will win you over. This humour is directed at a very specific demographic and if you do not enjoy balls-to-the-wall comedy that doesn't hold anything back, Bad Santa is not for you. There are moments where I feel it goes too far for being a Christmas movie, but it is easily redeemed moments later. I truly can't believe this film has already been in release for over 13 years, but it does hold up better than most Christmas films from its time. Films like Four Christmases, Jingle All the Way, or Christmas with the Kranks are still viewed by many families on cable and whatnot, but they are very mediocre films at best. Although this film is not for everyone, it definitely stands among the top of its genre in its decade.
With loveable characters like Thurman Merman, cleverly written jokes about the Christmas season, a story that takes a while to develop, but in turn makes for a moving conclusion, Bad Santa holds up as one of the better films to watch around Christmas, even if it does dampen the mood quite a bit. If you are looking for a film to genuinely make you smile during the holidays and not laugh due to a film full of grinches, then stay far away from this picture. That being said, even though not everything works throughout this film, it sets up its punchlines perfectly and does everything it wants to before the credits roll. In the end, Bad Santa is a great time if you know what you are getting yourself into.