By David Whitsell
[Caution: Spoilers Ahead]
I love the holidays and I love guns. Why not put the two together? Fortunately for me and you, dear reader, Mel Gibson has done just that. Yes, a movie featuring Mel Gibson as Santa…or rather Chris Kringle. Or just “Chris.”
The gist of this oddly ballistic Christmas story is there are a few people who are unhappy with Santa and want to take him out . . . but Santa, it seems, is hard to kill. You might even say he’s a lethal weapon.
‘Fatman’ is a great 2A “trojan” in that it’s about Santa and Christmas but one in which many — including me — didn’t see the guns or the Second Amendment message coming. That’s how you get disparate results like this:
Santa is armed because the bad guys are armed. And Santa isn’t just packing, the Jolly Old Elf is packing a 1911. If its good enough to win two world wars and passes muster with Santa….but I digress.
Even Mrs. Claus is packing in this flick. I could not make out the black powder handguns she and Santa have, and IMFDB has nothing so far, so I’ll punt to our astute readers in the comment section to enlighten us on Santa’s guns of yesteryear.
I do however know an AR platform rifle when I see one and lots of them make cameo appearances during the movie’s one hour and forty minute run time. There are plenty of other guns and accessories as well, as well as other weapons including bombs and even an improvised wooden club.
Did I mention that Santa teams up with the DoD at one point? That really bumps up the weapons count.
The bad guy, played by Walton Goggins, wields a mall-ninjaesque, spring loaded blade to much effect. This versatile actor gives a great performance here, although I can never get seem to get his part in Sons of Anarchy out of my mind.
The acting in ‘Fatman’ is surprisingly solid all around, not an easy task given it tries to be equal parts fantastical and gritty.
The only problem I have is a tiny touch of wokeness that rears its head midway through the film. There is a scene where Santa gets letters from adults who thank him for the toys they received many years ago: boy chef got an oven and girl firefighter got a truck. But hey, it could happen. There really is or was a Saint Nicholas after all.
Fatman is one of those, “For what it is, it’s great” kind of movies. It’s got Mel, Santa, and guns, if you like any one of the three, it’s time well spent.
Caliber: 45 North Pole FMJ
Length: 140 minutes
Price: Free (if you know where to look online)
RATINGS (out of five bullets):
Style * * * * *
It comes at you sideways. Definitely creative. Comical, yet philosophical. It’s True Grit on peppermint.
Reliability * * * *
The story drags in a few places. Santa’s involvement with the Military Industrial Complex raises more questions than it answers.
OVERALL * * * *
Fatman is one of the few good things to come out of 2020.