When Billy Wenan gets a lump of coal under the Christmas tree, he declares war against Santa and hires an assassin to bring an end to the winter mascot people know and love.
When the trailer for Fatman arrived, it took the internet by surprise. Those that watched it believed it was an off-season April fool’s joke (myself included). Now, flash-forward a couple of months and here I am writing a review for it.
As the trailer started to roll, I was flabbergasted by what I was watching. Though, instead of a gun-crazy action fest like you might have expected from the trailer, the film actually tells a struggling couple’s journey as they attempt to bring joy to the world, and it packs a surprising amount of heart.
Even with the fantastical elements in mind (like the group of elves he has access to), the struggle that Mel Gibson´s main characters and his wife (played excellently by the great Marianne Jean-Baptiste) goes through is the driving force of the narrative. The temptation of dropping everything because one’s efforts feel like they amount to nothing is something everyone has gone through at least once in their life. Speaking of Marianne Jean-Baptise; her on-screen chemistry with Mel Gibson is surprisingly heartwarming. Their relationship feels believable.
Then we have Walter Goggins, who plays the hitman who is hired to kill Santa. His character feels like he comes straight from a comic-book. He is entertaining to watch throughout the film with the type of performance that only Walter can bring. The kid who hired him was arguably nothing more than a simple Macguffin, having nothing to work with.
Is Fatman a masterpiece worthy of the hall of fame? No, far from it. But it is an interesting and entertaining time at the movies.