Fatman Parent Guide
Knowing that there are worse Christmas movies out there doesn't make this one any better.
Parent Movie Review
Christmas seems to get harder every year, and that goes double for Chris Kringle (Mel Gibson). Even with the support of his loving wife, Ruth (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) and his highly loyal workforce of sugared-up elves, he just can’t make ends meet. His existing deal with the U.S. government stipulates that he gets payed at a certain rate per present delivered, but there simply aren’t enough kids on the “nice” list anymore. With more coal going down more chimneys, Chris is seeing less revenue. So he strikes a deal with the army, manufacturing aircraft control panels during the first two months of the year to keep Christmas alive. Even this desperate measure doesn’t solve his problems: little Billy Wenan (Chance Hurstfield) is incensed about the coal he received, and has hired a contract killer (Walton Goggins) to get rid of old Saint Nick…for good.
Ostensibly, this movie is for people like me: the kind of maniacs who will argue that Die Hard is a Christmas movie. My favourite holiday films are The Thing and The Shining, so I exceed the target audience in terms of festive insanity. Unfortunately, there’s a difference between those movies and Fatman, and that is that those movies are fun to watch. Now, I’ve seen much worse than this – Bad Santa springs merrily to mind with its constant obscenity and profanity. But that doesn’t improve Fatman, which still just feels like a two-hour remake of The Night Santa Went Crazy by Weird Al.
This is obviously unsuitable for children. Although it is thankfully less obscene than the aforementioned Bad Santa, it is still profanity-riddled and even more bullet-riddled. I didn’t bother to keep a body count because, frankly, the movie wasn’t that interesting in the first place and adding math only seemed to make it worse, but you can rest assured that more than a few people get messily shot. Add a healthy sprinkling of profanity and you’ve got a Christmas cookie only suitable for adults with a high tolerance for bad cinema.
The movie keeps hinting at moral lessons about attitude, gratitude, and selling out, but never actually bothers to develop them. Although little Billy certainly learns some lessons about hiring a hitman to go after Santa, it’s less about having a moral epiphany and more about being threatened into better behavior. While I’m sure I’d also be better behaved if a heavily bearded Mel Gibson showed up in my room with his Patented Crazy Eyes at full strength, self-preservation hardly qualifies as character development. Then again, we were all brought up with the idea of a jolly old elf who sees us when we’re sleeping and knows when we’re awake. When we already share this terrifyingly omniscient Santa with our kids, Mel Gibson’s heavily armed version seems, well, redundant.Directed by Eshom Nelms & Ian Nelms. Starring Walton Goggins, Mel Gibson, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste. Running time: 100 minutes. Theatrical release November 17, 2020. Updated November 19, 2020
Watch the trailer for Fatman
Rating & Content Info
Why is Fatman rated R? Fatman is rated R by the MPAA for bloody violence, and language.
Violence: Many individuals are shot and killed. Gunshot wounds are shown, and in one instance a man is shown treating his own gunshot wound. A mans arm is broken. An individual is hit across the head with a log. Another person is stabbed repeatedly in the back. There is an attempted poisoning.
Sexual Content: A married couple is implied to have had sex off-screen.
Profanity: There are 11 extreme profanities, five scatological terms, and occasional mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: People are shown drinking in a bar. One man is shown drinking from a hip flask. A character is shown smoking cigarettes.
Page last updated November 19, 2020
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This is vaguely reminiscent of Cold Pursuit, in which Liam Neeson hunts his son’s killer across Colorado.
If you want a dark Christmas movie that’s less bloody, you can watch The Nightmare Before Christmas.
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