Another holiday season, another terrible holiday themed comedy that’s out to steal your hard-earned dollars. Oh wait, it’s still the first week of November? That’s a weird time to release a Christmas movie, isn’t it? It looks like the marketing team put about as much effort into selling A Bad Moms Christmas as the filmmakers put into actually making it.
To be fair, there isn’t really a good time to release comedies like this. The sequel to 2016’s surprise hit Bad Moms truly epitomizes the term “cash grab.” Slapped together in less than a year and a half because the reasonably amusing original racked up nearly $184 million on a budget of $20 million, A Bad Moms Christmas (we’re still waiting on the apostrophe) makes little use of its talented cast. The headlining trio of underperforming mothers (played by Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hann) have seemingly forgot any and all lessons they learned the first time around, and the coincidentally simultaneous arrival of their own mothers (Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines, and Susan Sarandon) isn’t helping. They aren’t adding any more laughs either, unfortunately, and what could have been the next big comedy franchise is starting to look dead in the water.
Related: A Bad Moms Christmas Red Band Trailer #2: No More Perfect Christmases
Lazy sequels like this are the bane of film critics’ existence, and they’re definitely not giving Bad Moms 2 a pass. Check out some of the most brutal reviews it’s received so far.
The holiday season has barely started and already we have our first lump of coal. A Bad Moms Christmas is not only an insipid, uninspired sequel to last year’s hit comedy, it’s an embarrassment for all parties involved. With no grounding in anything resembling reality, its characters behave like sociopaths while the script wraps them in a blanket of holiday cliches. — The Detroit News
It’s hard to overstate just how awful — really, truly, unabashedly dreadful — A Bad Moms Christmas is, or to exaggerate the many levels on which it disappoints. Goodwill fostered by the endearing original squandered? Check. Superb cast utterly wasted? Yup. Novel concept swapped for something unspeakably lazy? Indeed. Sex and the City 2 can go ahead and pass along that tarnished and bent Worst Sequel Ever™ tiara. A Bad Moms Christmas is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. — Original Cin
Indifferently directed and scripted, the whole thing feels like it was built out of scraps, with half a dozen montage sequences to pad out the running time – though there is no earthly reason this thing needed to be almost two hours long. Maybe writer/directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore didn’t have the time for a tighter edit, or maybe they just didn’t care. It’s not like anybody has to pay for film any more, right? The only scene that sort of works is the one where Hahn’s lonely esthetician falls for a male stripper (Justin Hartley) while waxing his balls, and it makes me sad that I just typed that sentence. Please don’t give this movie your money. — NOW Toronto
Set in a suburban nightmare of oppressive expectations, A Bad Moms Christmas ends with its own sequel already cued up. “I have heart cancer,” Ms. Hines’s character says at one point in a vain attempt to halt her daughter’s complaints. I think I know exactly what she meant. — New York Times
A Bad Moms Christmas is a film about women trapped in a bleakly infantilizing suburban hellscape with horrible lighting, whose only idea about how to subvert their situation is to scream and push people and hit each other in the crotch … It’s painful to watch a talented cast grimace their way through this stuff. — Vulture
This sequel to last year’s surprise (and surprisingly sweet) hit “Bad Moms” was made in a hurry and it shows … What does it say about “A Bad Moms Christmas” that the funniest line in it is uttered by Kenny G? — Seattle Times
So, this story of mismatched meddling moms and their put-upon daughters trundles along happily enough if you like jokes about sexy Santas and pubic hair and don’t ask too many questions about malls that serve beer in the food court or trampoline parks that hire new staff in the small hours of Christmas morning. — Globe and Mail
There’s sometimes a perverse pleasure to be had in seeing fine actors slumming it in crass movies. Not here. Sarandon’s character is an unreliable wastrel (called Isis — ho ho ho!) who spends most of the movie swigging from a hip flask. I can quite believe that the flask contained genuine booze: you wouldn’t want to face this film sober. — The Times (UK)
This being a Christmas movie, it naturally devolves into an endless stream of heartfelt monologues, tears, and sappy apologies. As if it wasn’t toothless enough already. But hey, this is Christmas; a time for giving, right? And so I feel I’m being generous by saying A Bad Moms Christmas is like getting socks as a gift. — Punch Drunk Critics
A Bad Moms film series certainly had some potential, but the slapdash nature of this sequel will squander any interest in that if there’s any justice in Hollywood anymore. And while we’re not expecting to hear too many calls for another entry into this faltering franchise, the idea of a Bad Grandmas spinoff should genuinely concern you. Because yup, that’s teased.