WEEKEND WEB: Not enough hilarity in hastily released sequel

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A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS (15)

SHOWCASE CINEMA DE LUX PETERBOROUGH, OUT NOW

CAST: MILA KUNIS, KRISTEN BELL, KATHRYN HAHN, CHERYL HINES, CHRISTINE BARANSKI, JAY HERNANDEZ, PETER GALLAGHER, WANDA SYKES & SUSAN SARANDON

RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 44 MINS

DIRECTORS: JON LUCAS & SCOTT MOORE

Women behaving badly... the first Bad Moms movie exceeded box-office expectations – despite middling critical acclaim – for being a ‘leave your brain’ at the door fun experience mainly aimed at the female demographic.

Sequels that come within two years are now deemed quick in Hollywood terms, but one year? That’s how fast producers acted for this speedy cash-in on last year’s hit.

Writer-directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore have returned, along with the stars of the show – Amy (Mila Kunis), Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) – playing bad mothers sent to the brink by the stresses that come with Christmas.

Just as they make a pact to do the holidays their own unique way, all three of their own mums (sorry, moms!) turn up. Amy (Christine Baranski), who arrives with her mostly mute husband (Peter Gallagher), is the type of person that belittles everyone around her (except the grandchildren). Carla (Susan Sarandon) is mostly looking for money to feed her gambling habit, and Kiki (Curb your Enthusiasm’s Cheryl Hines) is clingy with no sense of boundaries.

The chemistry between all the female leads are fine, but they have very little to work with. If a little more time and effort had gone into production, this sequel could have provided a more consistently hilarious comedy that we only see little glimpses of here and there.

Other than a Festive backdrop, A Bad Moms Christmas doesn’t give us anything new. The script is lazy (though the writers didn’t exactly have long to put it together) giving us more of the same, but it’s an easy watch if that’s what you’re looking for.

But it will exit the memory as soon as you leave the cinema, leaving you to ponder more serious questions like: should there be an apostrophe in the title or not?

Rating: 2.5/5

Mikey Clarke