6/10 Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na Fatman! Not to be confused with the “Batman” theme song from the old television series, “Fatman” is a unique take on Santa Claus. In this movie, Santa Claus and elves are real, they remain hidden away for their own security and one naughty child who receives a lump of coal for Christmas wants Santa dead so he hires a hitman to take out the holly, jolly fat man. The premise is silly and ridiculous but the movie plays it straight which makes it rather comical. If you are looking for a serious, realistic Christmas film, this isn’t the one for you. However, if you know going in that this is over the top, outlandish and fun, you will have a much better time. I personally enjoyed the plot since this is unique for a Christmas movie to be R rated, violent and a twist on the holiday classic Christmas films that we’ve come to know and love. The performances are great with Mel Gibson as Chris Cringle struggling to keep his Christmas spirit alive as he struggles to pay his bills (something that a lot of people can sadly relate to these days) and the underrated Walton Goggins as the heartless hitman on a mission to end Santa’s reign. The scenes with Goggins were the best in the movie for me as despite being an evil, hateful murderer, we would get glimpses of a soul beneath all of his hatred in moments when he thinks back to his childhood or how he takes care of his pet hamster with such loving care. The first and third acts work well and there are moments of dark humor that had me laughing. However, the movie isn’t all tidings of comfort and joy. Like a Jewish kid on Christmas morning, I felt there were somethings missing. The second act/middle part of the movie really slowed to a crawl after the opening act was so well established. Whenever the movie would jump from Goggin’s hilarious encounters with being a total jerk to people and switch back to Mr. and Mrs. Cringle, I found myself not caring about what was going on. Santa and his wife making cold calls, arguing about how they have changed over the years, etc. just felt boring in comparison to everything else that was going on. Despite some genuinely funny moments, there weren’t enough of them to qualify this as a hilarious Christmas comedy like you would with something like “Bad Santa”. The ending battle between Santa and his assassin had some moments that took me out of the movie as well. Overall there is definitely some fun to be had as we even get some surprising social commentary on the military industrial complex and things you wouldn’t have expected to be in the movie. If you are looking for something different instead of re-watching “Elf”, “Home Alone” or “Christmas Vacation” for the hundredth time, “Fatman” is a nice change of pace. Just don’t expect too much from the movie and like opening gifts on Christmas morning, keep your expectations in check so you don’t end up too disappointed if you didn’t quite get what you were hoping for.
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