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Film Review: Fatman

Director:   Eshom Nelms, Ian Nelms

Cast:  Mel Gibson, Walton Goggins, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Chance Hurstfield, Shaun Benson, Deborah Grover, Michelle Lang, Bill Turnbull, Bill Lake, Sean Tucker

Rating:     MA

Running Time:     100

Australian Distributor:    Icon Distribution


“Fatman” is weird – and not in the good way. This very strange, very dark, and very violent holiday fantasy is like nothing I’ve seen before or that I’d want to see again. 

Times are tough and only getting tougher for Chris Cringle (Mel Gibson). Facing declining business for his team of elves, Chris and his wife Ruth (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) are forced to enter into an unlikely partnership with the government. To make matters worse, Chris is being hunted by a highly skilled assassin known only as Skinny Man (Walton Goggins), an unhinged lunatic hired by a real b**tard of a 12-year-old named Billy (Chance Hurstfield) after he receives a lump of coal in his stocking.

The end result is a bloody and brutal, gun-heavy confrontation between Cringle and his would-be killer, wrapped up in the strangest holiday bow of a morality lesson ever to be put in a holiday movie.   

It should go without saying that this is not a feel-good Christmas film. The holiday theme isn’t really important to the narrative, and it serves as a mostly irrelevant angle to try and tie the story together. Parts of the plot seem deeply rooted in American conservatism, with a culture war between the haves and have-nots.

Once Cringle agrees to militarise the North Pole the humour is sucked dry. It’s something the film really can’t afford, and while I understand what the directors are likely trying to convey, the finished project isn’t satirical enough to work.


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