Bad Moms 2

Published on November 6th, 2017

Bad Moms 2

Directed by Scott Moore and Jon Lucas

Starring Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Kristen Bell

Reviewed by Julian Lehnert

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Okay, I am probably not the target audience for Bad Moms 2.  After the first entry in the series last year, we once again return to Amy (Mila Kunis), Carla (Kathryn Hahn) and Kiki (Kristen Bell), the trio of Chicago mothers whose chaotic exploits were the main draw of the first film.

This time, something is different. After some deliberation, it dawned on me: this is a Christmas movie! In late October nevertheless. The sleigh bells clued me in. Or perhaps the fact that this movie is also called A Bad Moms Christmas. And what’s not to love about Christmas movies?

We all have our favourites – maybe you’re one of the Home Alone (1990) crowd or part of the people who reverently watch Die Hard (1988) every time the season comes around. Fact is, the Christmas movie is a staple of Western tradition, the feel-good flick that gets you in the mood for the festivities. So, does Bad Moms 2 fill this role well?

It depends. If all you need for a movie to be in the holiday spirit is a Christmas veneer you’re probably set – then again, a lot of movies can fill that role, so why then the sequel to last year’s Bad Moms?

Broadly speaking, this film is about as close to formula as one can get; Christmas is in danger and the magic must be restored. That much is already clear during the opening scene, a by now standard “this is how it all began” bit that then leads us through the carnage leading up to where we began. Along the way are plenty of presents, trees and carols as well as mountains of snow and food. So far, so merry, but Bad Moms 2 stays true to its title by also throwing in more than a good helping of eggnog and sexy Santas. Again, I was reminded of my being an outsider – the scenes with stripping Santas at a bar were not quite as titilating for me as the other viewers made them out to be. Sorry. Nevertheless, the framework for a seasonal film is there and, according to my admittedly limited knowledge of the genre, Bad Moms 2 competently earns its “chick flick” badge as well. But what else is there?

Criticising this movie for a lack of ‘substance’ is a lost cause; after all, it thrives on its by-the-books plot and set pieces and plays its role competently in that regard. You’ll find one or two reliable laughs during the titular moms’ interactions, or at the very least you’ll get some good ideas about festive home decorations during the many interior shots. Grab your girlfriends and you’ll have a decent evening at the cinema.