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By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Gibson's darkly funny Santa Claus movie is violent, profane.

Movie R 2020 100 minutes
Fatman Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 17+

Sad and Disappointing

On a technical level the actual acting was mediocre at best, the dialogue was robotic, and the characters actual motivations didn't make sense half the time. The idea was there but they missed the ball at every swing. The only thing that the movie has going for it is the violence, unfortunately it is there for the sake of being there. There are multiple close-ups of bullet wounds and the blood, don't get me started. It looks as though people were put inside a mamoth for a day and then made to come out again. Also no-one was able to get shot well, every time that it happened I thought that they were shimmying. The movie is only okay at being a bad action film, a film that tries desperatly to hold on to the promise of an interesting concepet.
age 12+

If Santa had made it to the 21st Century

The movie departs from traditional holiday movies that have been dominating our screens and which establish consumerism as equal to giving. The movie is dark, but we live in dark times. Had Santa made it to the 21st C, he would have been worse than Chris Cringle portrayed by the talented Mr. Gibson. Yes, the movie does present a Santa like no other, a frustrated Santa who is at the verge of being put out of business and who is still grappling to save his workshop and the Christmas spirit which is dwindling. However, and like everything good, he and his elves are coaxed to work for the army. Another sign that shows how the world has become, a world filled with consumers and power thirsty governments and individuals. The boy who puts a price on Santa's head is a symbol of what our kids could be if they were left to their own devices. The huge number of coal pieces santa delivers on Christmas are a warning, an alarm that we need to pay more attention to our kids because we are losing them to the dark side. All in all, the movie is worth watching and worth discussing with your kids about its content.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (3 ):

This strange, dark Christmas movie is a curious mix of fantasy, violence, and surprisingly few overt laughs, but it still somehow seems confident and fully committed to its wild situations. Written and directed by the Nelms brothers, Eshom and Ian, Fatman takes a little while to establish, that, yes, Chris Cringle is the real Santa Claus. He drives a rattletrap pickup truck, but he knows who's naughty and who's nice, he seems to have been around for a very long time, and he has honest-to-goodness elves working for him (they exist on an all-sweets diet). So despite his grumpiness and despite the uneasy real-world connotations of Gibson occupying the role, the character works.

Another secret weapon is Jean-Baptiste as a delightful, no-nonsense Mrs. Claus, supporting Chris and making the situation feel warmer. Goggins is always good at beady-eyed psychopaths, and Hurstfield -- easily drawing comparisons to certain real-world bullying tyrants -- is the perfect little demon child. The tone of Fatman is strange, with pieces and sections feeling like they almost don't quite fit together, butting up against each other and then oddly fitting. It never really feels like it's totally gone off the rails, and it's not entirely surprising, either, but it's just off-kilter enough and has just enough of heart to make it worth a holiday viewing.

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