There’s a scene in “A Bad Moms Christmas,” a sequel to the raunchy 2016 comedy, where the trio of mothers decide that they just can’t take it anymore, and they’re going to forego all the expectations put on them by their families and just let loose and be wild.
It’s almost as if they’ve never seen the original, where they did the same thing.
The holiday-themed sequel has the three mom pals — Amy (Mila Kunis), Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) — getting ready for Christmas while dealing with each of their respective meddling mothers.
Amy’s mom (Christine Baranski) is an uptight control freak, with plans to throw a giant Christmas party in Amy’s home, whether she wants it or not. Kiki’s mom (Cheryl Hines) is obsessed with her daughter/best friend, even wearing pajamas with Kiki’s face all over them. Carla’s mom (Susan Sarandon) is a drifter and gambler who is just looking for money.
The trio of matriarchs all show up for the holidays, pushing boundaries and pushing buttons. Their daughters push back and there’s your movie — familial misunderstandings mixed with a slew of comic depravity.
What you won’t find in the film is any kind of plot or interesting story to follow — there’s barely any character development, and what is here, is pretty much a repeat of the first movie.
But the casting goes pretty far. As in the first film, Hahn is a scene-stealer, especially when she shares the screen with “This Is Us” star Justin Hartley, playing a dancer in a naughty Santa contest.
The first “Bad Moms” was a surprisingly fun film, a chance for women to get to revel in the debauchery and vulgarity that is typically saved for male-led vehicles like “The Hangover,” which co-writers and directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore also wrote.
In terms of the purpose of this film — to make you laugh — it succeeds. It is legitimately funny for a good amount of the run time. But as with most sequels, there are diminishing returns here, and it’s hard to imagine that a third visit with these bad moms would be a good idea.