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‘Bad Santa’ comes to town for naughty fun

November 23, 2016 GMT

If your idea of fun is listening to Billy Bob Thornton and Kathy Bates exchange ridiculously lewd dialogue while playing mother and son, you may love “Bad Santa 2.” It’s very, very naughty and not nice at all, and it may be the perfect movie for the toxic moment.

Thornton is back after 13 years as foul-mouthed, drunken sex addict Willie T. Stokes. Back to being on his own after losing Sue (Lauren Graham) to his old bad habits, Willie is getting so sozzled, he’s urinating in an imaginary toilet in his filthy crash pad and trying to kill himself by sticking his head inside his oven, which turns out to be electric.

Boy-man Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly, again), 21 now, knows Willie is not Santa Claus, but still thinks Willie is his only family, and, unfortunately for him, he may be right.

When Marcus (Tony Cox), the diminutive former accomplice with an attitude almost as bad as Willie’s, comes back into Willie’s life to enlist him in a safe-cracking heist in Chicago, where they will reap a couple of million, Willie agrees. The only problem is it means getting together with Willie’s estranged and incompetent ex-convict mother, Sunny (Bates), who is casing a Chicago charity for drug addicts and alcoholics run by socialites Regent (Ryan Hansen) and Diane Hastings (Christina Hendricks). The clinic’s clients must work as Santa Clauses to raise money­ for the charity, which is kept in an office safe.

The almost legendary 2003 original film, directed by Terry Zwigoff (“Crumb”), has entered the pantheon of Generation X lewd comedies. “Bad Santa 2,” which was directed by the less unorthodox Mark Waters (“Vampire Academy”), still offers transgressive fun, and the performances of Thornton and a tattoo-covered Bates more than make up for any lapses in taste, which are this film’s stock in trade, or anything else.

Octavia Spencer is a hoot in a brief return as hooker grandmother Opal. Hendricks is more than game as Diane, the object of Willie’s unbridled desire. I’m sorry, but seeing Willie beat a fellow Santa played by veteran Mike Starr with a figure from a Nativity creche just made me laugh.

But, yes, I was disgusted by Sunny’s story about feeding caramels to her baby, Willie. I know it’s the start of holiday season. But, “Welcome to the (expletive) show” just sounds so right to me.

(“Bad Santa 2” contains profanity, nudity, drug use and lewd language.)