Review: Bad Moms 2 (aka A Bad Moms Christmas)

A rushed follow up to 2016’s break out comedy hit Bad Moms. Bad Moms 2 sadly lops into gimmick sitcom territory with a radically underdeveloped screenplay that’s high on tacky sentimentality and c-grade crass. There’s a couple of laughs to be had, to be fair, but nowhere near enough thought went into this to really justify its existence outside of the original’s box office haul.

It’s not the first film this year to suffer from the current trend of far too fast comedy sequels to films that probably don’t need them, there was Tyler Perry’s ill-fated follow Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, next week’s Daddy’s Home 2 (which bears so many similarities to this one, it’s insane), and who could forgot the total dud Bad Santa 2 (although that came many years after the original).

As Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm says in Jurassic Park: Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.

It’s a somewhat sexist plot notion that Christmas is like the main event for mothers in the U.S., returning writer/director duo Jon Lucas and Scott Moore reunite with Amy (Mila Kunis), Kiki (Kristen Bell), and Carla (Kathyrn Hahn) as the weight of their modern day mother lives is still on top of them. With the ho, ho, hos! ramping up, they must now face off with rampant middle class consumerism whilst being supported/pitted against their respective mothers Ruth (Christine Baranski), Sandy (Cheryl Hines), and Isis (Susan Sarandon). You, no doubt, see where this is going, right?

The plot labours through scenes that mirror what you’d find in an episode of any throwaway U.S. network comedy show with the only difference here being the pervasive sexual references and swearing. It has a hit-and-miss effect, sometimes it works, most of the time you feel like ‘is that all you got?’ but the gimmick is you’re seeing these high calibre actors trash talk (like the original) and that’s what you came to see.

Obviousness abounds in themes. Mother’s expectations of the daughters are too high. Feelings of inadequacy. Under-appreciation by their hubbies etc. yet it is always refreshing to see strong female empowerment on screen in whatever form it comes.

Bad Moms 2 is instantly forgettable, gimmicky fluff that is a noticeable step down from the original’s bombast. The biggest culprit here is that it came far too soon from the original and not enough time was really spent in creating a worthy sequel.