This ain’t the real *12 Rounds.* Not the actual movie. It’s more like a storyboard. Or an animatic. That’s it. Just to give you an idea of what the real movie’s gonna look like. Man, you’re gonna love it, I swear.
It’s not that I don’t like fluff: it’s that I don’t like dumb fluff. And yet clever fluff is so very rare. So of course I cheer a hearty “Hoorah!” for *Duplicity.*
It’s gotta mean something, right? In only the first few months of 2008 we’ve seen more than one — more than two — movies about daring, honking-big robberies pulled off by little people who feel, perhaps justifiably so, that they’ve been cheated by life…
I wouldn’t want to live in the world of ‘The Bank Job,’ in which absolutely everyone is corrupt except for the bad guys. Wait: I guess we already do. Sure, of course we do, cuz this is based on a true story…
Oh, it’s completely implausible, sure, but rather enticing as well: could three low-level employees at a Federal Reserve bank really walk out the front door with wads of bills that had been destined to be shredded?
This is it right here, people: the ‘ownership society’ our so-called leaders think we ‘deserve,’ an unregulated, unpoliced Wild West of corporate hegemony. Fraud, greed, arrogance, powermongering? All part of the game, folks, all part of the game. It’s every man for himself, the way God intended, and God help you if you were so fucking stupid that you let yourself be born with anything less than a platinum spoon in your mouth and powerful connections out the wazoo. Cuz most of us are gonna end up serfs if this stuff continues.
So, when I attended a screening on November 14, I was already primed for *Bad Santa,* the meanest, curmudgeonliest, blackest holiday movie I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen most of ’em. It’s like, How much more black could it be? And the answer is None, none more black. I haven’t laughed at film this hard all year, and maybe not last year, either. And much of that laughter sprung from shock: I spent half the film saying to myself, ‘Holy crap, I can’t believe they did that!’ and ‘They did *not* just do that!’ It’s hard to be shocking in the era of the Farrelly Brothers, but *Bad Santa* is shocking partly because it’s so unrepentant and unapologetic. There’s no attempt to infuse the film with heart or soul or sweetness or light. *Bad Santa* unrelentingly twisted. And that’s just wonderful.
Are you up for a little larceny that may be dangerous but is too much fun to pass up? Are you up for a smart dumb movie, the kind of delicious popcorn flick you get when some of the most talented and most watchable people in the biz let their hair down? Cuz this ain’t a movie that’s been fortified with vitamins and minerals or morals or anything good for you — this is pure cinematic junk food of the highest, tastiest order.
This is the best mob movie ever made.