Billy Bob Thornton is back in Bad Santa 2. Max (Brad Pitt) and Marianne (Marion Cotillard) start a family of spies in Allied.

Billy Bob Thornton is back in Bad Santa 2. Max (Brad Pitt) and Marianne (Marion Cotillard) start a family of spies in Allied.

Reel Reviews: Spy lovers and the return of Bad Santa

Taylor and Howe say about Bad Santa 2 and Allied."Both films deliver exactly that which they claim to."

  • Dec. 2, 2016 3:00 p.m.

Allied is a Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Cast Away) film starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard as Second World War assassins Max and Marianne, who fall in love, get married and start a family.

When intelligence agents report that Marianne could be a German spy, Max must prove he didn’t marry the enemy.

Bad Santa 2 is the sequel to the 2003 surprise Christmas hit.

Thirteen years have passed since we last saw the drunken, sex addicted, chain smoking father elf (Billy Bob Thornton). The gang has reunited to do one last heist before they all retire to more sunny climates.

We say, “Both films deliver exactly that which they claim to.”

TAYLOR: There was no way I was going to see Bad Santa 2 and although I would much rather review The Arrival, which for some reason has not darkened our theatres in Vernon, I decided to see Allied, a WWII romantic thriller. (I hope the Towne Theatre brings in The Arrival. I want to see it on the big screen.)

Allied was good. I suspected it would look and sound right, being a Zemeckis film and that Cotillard and Pitt would be able to express the required betrayal. I was not disappointed.

HOWE: Drinking, sex, foul language, more sex, more drinking, oh, and throw in a robbery. That is what Bad Santa 2, an hour-and-a-half movie consists of. Yes, it is very politically incorrect (that must be the understatement of the year), but I liked it. I really don’t know what that says about me.

TAYLOR: I enjoyed the scenery in Allied. It is clear the filmmakers really wanted it to feel like 1940s’ Casablanca. I’m a sucker for a desert.

Pitt’s French is terrible; Cotillard’s is not. I enjoyed the Canadian aspect of the film. Max’s plan after the war is to move to Medicine Hat to be a rancher. As for whether or not enemies can fall in love, you’ll just have to see the film. It’s very tidy, very non-surprising, at times sappy, and in the end perhaps a bit disappointing. I heard a grown man mock the film to the delight of those seated near him. I was not so lucky. However, my specific test was the expression of betrayal, and there I did not come up wanting.

HOWE: The acting in Bad Santa 2 is fine. The storyline plods along nicely and there are some very sappy moments dotted throughout. The double crossings are fun to figure out and you just don’t know who to trust or what disgusting act the mischievous Christmas trio of Thornton, Kathy Bates and Tony Cox are going to perform next from.

Just one warning parents, don’t take the kids. It’s not your regular Christmas fairytale.

–Taylor gives Allied 3 Casablancan sandstorms out of 5.

– Howe gives Bad Santa 2 3 money kettles out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon, B.C. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears in The Morning Star every Friday.