Fatman is the greatest Christmas movie since Bad Santa 2.
This is a movie the critics are trying to shoo audiences away from. That shouldn’t surprise you. However, this movie will surprise you many times over.
The opening scene is laid out like many Christmas movies. Snow on the ground, ‘Tis the season—all in hopes of a holly jolly good time.
Nobody has mentioned…
Glaring similarities between Chris Cringle (played by Mel Gibson) and Mrs. Claus, who goes by Ruth (played by Marianne Jean-Baptiste) situation which parallels the conditions of many business owners at this very moment.
Chris Cringle and Ruth are coming up short on their bills, expenses, and means of survival. To make it worse they are only given half of their money from the government—whom they are contracted with to make toys. While the Fatman demands all of his money; the government uses this ample time to involuntarily force Santa into a contract with the U.S. Military. Now the elves will be subject to military rule while making their equipment. All overseen by Captain Jacobs (Robert Bockstael).
Eerily similar to American citizens who have gotten shafted by the unemployment system. Lack of financial relief from congress. In many cases let-down by local and state-wide government. Whom shuttered small businesses flushing employees to the bread line. Except here the elves at least kept their jobs.
On the other side of the sleigh
A kid named Billy Wenan (played by Chance Hurtsfield) is fast making an infamous name for himself. With no father or mother around Billy’s grandmother (played by Anne Marie) is tasked with raising the unruly child. However, she is bed-ridden for much of that task. Leaving Billy Wenan to run a muck and boss around the servants of the estate. We are made to believe this is a wealthy family early on in the film.
One specific scene in this time frame that popped out at me was where Billy’s grandmother asks him to get some milk. Billy delegates this task to his housekeeper. The reason this stuck out to me is because of how disconnected I have noticed people are from their own grandparents. Would of took a minute or two to get that glass of milk for his grandmother. Instead, Billy dismissed his grandmother and rushed into his own world. Food for thought.
Billy Wenan loses in a science fair placing as runner-up to a promising young student named Christine Crawford (played by Ellison Grier Butler) who took first place. Billy is embarrassed and feeling downright robbed of first place. After school Billy is picked up by his chauffeur who he tells to get in touch with ‘the contact’ known as ‘Skinny Man’ (played by Walton Goggins) for a job.
Billy tasks Skinny Man with abducting Christine (the student who beat him in the science fair). This is where it becomes ‘over the top’ in a sense. Billy makes a deal with Christine. She will admit cheating on her project in order to forfeit first place to Billy. In order to avoid harm to her family, pet, and potentially herself. Christine accepts the offer on the spot.
I believe the directors of ‘Fatman’ (Eshom Nelms and Ian Nelms) used this scene to show how twisted Billy actually was. In order to lay the foundation for the rest of the film. This specific scene was compelling and telling of what was to come.
Finally Christmas is here
Billy sees a bountiful of presents under the tree. The Fatman has delivered the seasons greeting once again. Upon opening the first gift Billy’s face turns to ‘sheer horror’. Santa has given Billy nothing but coal. In a fit of rage Billy gets in touch with Skinny Man once again. This time Billy wants Skinny Man to kill Santa Claus. Although, hesitant at first; Skinny Man reluctantly accepts.
I felt as if Skinny Man has his own score to settle with the Fatman. Although, Skinny Man doesn’t care for the kid Billy; he is an opportunist and blood-thirsty.
In no time we bear witness to the viciousness of Skinny Man. Cynical, clever, and sinister are proper descriptors of Skinny Man’s operation and performance. Skinny Man will stop at nothing to kill Chris Cringle. Killing a few postal workers in the process of tracking Chris Cringle was only a precursor to the carnage to come.
Once Skinny Man locates Chris Cringle he is shell shocked by the military presence around. However, Skinny Man is not shaken but emboldened by the challenge. Unnoticed and slaughtering his way closer to Chris Cringle until one of the elves sounds the alarm and Elf 7 (played by Eric Woolfe) is able to alert Chris Cringle.
The sequence of action scenes leading up to the final battle between Chris Cringle and Skinny Man were highly-enjoyable. They weren’t overdrawn but rather pull you in to the story. Leading me to believe Skinny Man would fair well against Chris Cringle in battle.
The battle between Chris Cringle and Skinny Man is as epic as they come. At one point Chris Cringle has Skinny Man pinned down and can finish Skinny Man off once and for all. However, while Chris Cringle is pleading with Skinny Man to stop his twisted ways. Skinny Man appears to kill Santa with a knife in the back and a bullet in the eye. This particular fighting scene was believable, edgy, and unpredictable. Bravo!
Ruth rushes out of the house shooting and nailing Skinny Man. Skinny Man fires back striking Ruth. Ruth dashes back inside the house as Skinny Man is in pursuit. Skinny Man creeps around the house. Ruth is tucked behind the door. Skinny Man enters another room. Ruth appears from behind the door. Firing her weapon; killing Skinny Man before he can fire back.
I found this scene to be suspenseful and a fitting end to Skinny Man. Marianne Jean-Baptiste’s performance in this film was phenomenal. Dare I say, best performance in the film overall? Mel Gibson was at his best. Walter Goggins was a perfect fit for the evil villain. Other notable mentions: Herman (played by Michael Dyson) had a nice performance. Regina (played by Joyce Rivera) fulfilled her role well. As well as Helga (played by Ekaterina Baker).
What we should takeaway from Fatman
Santa is not mortal! Chris Cringle rises from what looked and felt like the death of Christmas. Parallel to the ‘Christmas Spirit’ rising up in each one of us.
Addressing a century long stigma around interracial marriage indirectly. The directors do a great job of putting this subject matter in the movie without reinforcing the stigma surrounding interracial marriage.
Fatman has tremendous replay value. Add it to the list of other great Christmas movies to watch when you get snowed in. Show it to your buddy and anybody else who enjoys a steady-paced action movie with plenty of quips to keep you intrigued.
Thank you for reading and GOD bless you!
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The cited sources above helped inspire this article.