Ben Abraham’s review published on Letterboxd:
Doesn’t live up to it’s wonderfully ludicrous premise, Mel Gibson is well cast as this off the rails interpretation of Santa and Walton Goggins is excellent as a Hitman.
Ultimately I think the film should’ve taken itself less seriously and embraced it’s comicalness. The first two acts feel less narratively finished than needed and felt more like an overlong build up to a climax which wasn’t as fun as expected. The story leaves itself too open, the pace makes the lack of idea evident. The last act is fun enough, it’s not quite the Commando level of action that I was somewhat expecting but it was a big upgrade on the other two acts story wise.
The script is quite inconsistent and it’s less funny than I would’ve liked, the humour comes from off the wall, left field preposterousness rather than actual wit. It’s a film that’s abstractly hilarious due to it’s idiosyncrasies but ultimately failed to deliver plot wise and to contain a consistent sense of humour. I liked how the film was put together, the editing is very consistent, the shot continuity is excellent and the cinematography is often eye catching.
The film wastes time with characters, the Santa character needed to be either completely endearing or edgy, he was neither instead finding himself somewhere in the middle of the two. The child character is a fun twist but mainly feels like simply a rationale for the film to prolong itself.
It’s not quite the darkly humorous comedy classic that I was hoping for but “Fatman” will certainly find it’s fans.