Synopsis: To save his declining business, Chris Cringle also known as Fatman and Santa Claus is forced into a partnership with the U.S. Military. Making matters worse. A naughty child who got a lump of coal in his stocking has hired a hitman to off Santa.
While going about his business in North Peak Alaska. Discouraged Chris Cringle goes about his business collecting his mail and checking his list.
Elsewhere, a spoiled 12-year-old boy named Billy is plotting to have Santa aka The Fatman killed. Indeed Billy is extremely ticked off after getting a lump of coal in his stocking. So he hires a hitman, who happens to have an obsession with Chris Cringle, and buys toys that were made in Santa’s workshop.
Meanwhile, back in North Peak Chris and his wife Ruth receive bad news. The U.S. Government has only been able to partly subsidized Christmas, which will mean a reduced output in the years ahead. But a solution is presented by the U.S. military, who offer to make up the shortfall if Santa and his elves make flight consoles for their latest fighter jets.
Mel Gibson makes for a fairly unorthodox choice to play Santa Claus, but it somehow works. Much is done early in the film to establish Chris as a regular joe working his business in a somewhat close-knit, but closed community. We get a fun scene early in the film where Chris prevents a truck driver from cheating on his wife. The humor in the film is both dark and cute.
Walton Goggins is brilliant as the hitman that is hired for the task of ending Christmas. I loved the establishing scene that he gets, which sees him buying a rare baseball bat from some guy. The bat happens to have been made in Santa’s workshop. He also gets a funny scene when he tries to buy some toys for his pet hamster.
Rounding out the key players in the cast is Chance Hurstfieldwho plays Billy. A spoiled rich kid that not only uses intimidation to win a science fair but is also cashing fake cheques from his grandmother’s checkbook. He’s really easy to dislike. We also have Marianne Jean-Baptiste who plays Chris Cringle’s wife Ruth who is very much his emotional rock.
Written and directed by Eshom Nelms and Ian Nelms ‘Fatman’ puts me in mind of what a Christmas film would be like if Quentin Tarantino had done one. Though am pretty sure that if Tarrantino had done it. The film would be 3 hours long, and not the modest 90 minutes that this is.
Many of the jokes in the film are a bit too obvious, but the darker humor from the Skinny Man and Billy provides most of the real laughs. The film’s story is fairly straightforward and the elves in Chris Cringles workshop provide for some of the film’s cuter gags.
While this isn’t by any means a bad movie. It is not one that I can see myself revisiting too often. It’s fun and a bit of a diversion for an hour and a half, but I think I’d probably rather watch Gibson’s other Christmas movie. You know, that little 80s classic called ‘Lethal Weapon’.
- CGI & Stunts9.0
- Incidental Music8.0