‘Fatman’ Overview: Ho-Ho-Hum – Gadget Clock
Hoping to ship a Yuletide story for our darkish, divided occasions, the administrators and brothers Ian Nelms & Eshom Nelms got here up with “Fatman,” a soot-black comedy with a heaping aspect of social commentary.
Someplace within the Alaskan backwoods, we meet Chris Cringle (Mel Gibson), not a foul Santa a lot as a depressed one. A grizzled grouch who’s wearied by the commercialization of Christmas and a faithless public, Chris faces a failing enterprise and a disappearing authorities subsidy. With a workshop filled with elves to feed, Chris and his staunchly supportive spouse (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) reluctantly settle for a army contract to make the sort of merchandise too harmful for any baby’s Christmas record.
Pitting old-school rural values in opposition to rich-folk amorality, “Fatman” offers Santa a miniature nemesis within the 12-year-old Billy (Probability Hurstfield), a nascent sociopath fermenting in suburban luxurious and parental neglect. Enraged by Santa’s reward of coal on Christmas morning, Billy dispatches his on-call murderer (the at all times welcome Walton Goggins) to precise murderous revenge.
Waffling between anger and pathos, dry humor and dead-eyed violence, “Fatman” feels tonally befuddled. As followers of HBO’s “Vice Principals” will attest, Goggins can dance on this type of knife edge with ease, however the script (by the administrators) isn’t sharp sufficient to help his or Gibson’s efforts — and even easily incorporate its theme of reverberating childhood trauma.
A extra substantive and pleasing critique is discovered among the many elves, a multiethnic crew recognized solely by numbers and fed solely on carbs and sugar. Awed by their effectivity and voluntary sleep deprivation, a army captain can solely gaze approvingly on what appears much less like Santa’s workshop than his very personal sweatshop.
Rated R for weapons, medicine and an unhealthy provide of cookies. Operating time: 1 hour 40 minutes. In theaters. Please seek the advice of the rules outlined by the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention earlier than watching motion pictures inside theaters.
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