Empire (UK) - - ON.SCREEN -

OUT NOW / CERT 15 / 92 MINS DI­REC­TOR Mark Wa­ters CAST Billy Bob Thorn­ton, Kathy Bates, Tony Cox

A PHO­TO­COPY Of a pho­to­copy, this could per­haps be the nadir of the wave of decade-too-late com­edy se­quels. The plot, iden­ti­cal to that of the first film, pairs Billy Bob’s boozy misan­thrope with his old part­ner and — the film’s sole in­ven­tion — his mother on a Chicago char­ity heist on Christ­mas Eve. The tal­ented peo­ple be­hind the first film clearly un­der­stood the mind­set of a hate­ful drunk, but this feels like a lame im­i­ta­tion, with hardly any of the shock gags land­ing. It’s a pity, be­cause Thorn­ton will never find a bet­ter char­ac­ter to dis­play his flair for scum­bag in­tel­li­gence, and his weird el­e­gance among the degra­da­tion does per­sist, but there’s no doubt the in­spired char­ac­ter de­serves bet­ter. AL

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