Written and directed by Eshon and Ian Nelms, Fatman begins when Santa (Mel Gibson) decides to give a spoiled 12-year-old a piece of coal for Christmas. Feeling slighted by the Fatman, the boy decides to hire a deadly hitman to kill Kris Kringle and have his revenge.
The film takes an interesting look into the realistic problems that Santa Claus would face by giving billions of children gifts for free, making him the biggest economic stimulus in the world. In a world driven on greed, profits, and capitalism, Santa Claus is getting frustrated by the state of the world. But more than this, Santa regrets not selling his image for royalties. With the Christmas season generating over $3 billion each year in the U.S alone, Santa can’t even afford to pay for his own electricity. Realizing that ‘altruism isn’t in their bottom-line’, Santa decides to ‘sell out’ and begins taking on a government military weapons contract for the money.
In doing so, however, Santa becomes the very thing he hated. Being the greatest social service on the planet has given him nothing in return, except unbearable poverty for him and his elves. In this way, Fatman becomes a metaphor for how commercialized Christmas has become in our culture. Once a celebration of giving and family, the holiday has become a barbaric season where businesses push their products on consumers. Everything about the Christmas season is monetized.
Making the choice to depict Fatman as a hardcore action movie was hilarious and unexpected, especially due its extreme contrast of not only the Christmas season but the standard image of a jolly Santa as well. Personally, I thought it was a good choice as the action makes great use of the Christmas environments such as the elves’ workshop. (Besides, there’s not many movies where you see toy-making elves and Santa in a bloody shoot out.) The ridiculousness of the violence is pushed to the extreme when Santa “toughens up”, by dressing in a red pimp suit and turning his classic “see you when you’re sleeping” line into a threat. In moments like these, there’s some great dark humour throughout the film.
Overall, I enjoyed the world-building of Fatman. By portraying a more realistic image of Santa Claus and the real-world implications of acquiring the resources necessary to operate his magic toy shop in a capitalism world, this is an absolute blast for those who have been yearning for a ways to have their Christmas mixed with hardcore violence.
Fatman is available in select theatres and on demand now.