As we’ve passed the Halloween season, and are head long into the maw that is the 2020 election, we’re getting closer to the Christmas season. One of the most anticipated movies of this year’s yuletide is Fatman, the action-comedy that sees Mel Gibson playing Santa himself. Only, instead of playing a friendly, Kurt Russell embodiment of the holiday icon, Gibson’s Santa Claus knows his way around a gun and is being hunted by a vicious professional killer. So yeah, we’ve been waiting to hear how critics would react to Fatman, and today we’re ready to open our presents and see what the first reviews are saying!
Starting off with Sean O’Connell’s thoughts, CinemaBlend’s own team player sounded pretty holly jolly about Fatman. Taking to Twitter after seeing the film, Sean had this glowing praise to heap into Mel Gibson’s proverbial sack of gifts:
Are we talking about Fatman yet? We need to be talking about Fatman. Will you like FATMAN? Well, Walton Goggins plays an hitman hired by a kid to kill Santa, played by Mel Gibson. Does that do anything for you? Fatman. … Fatman will be an annual tradition in the O’Connell abode.
Annual holiday traditions aren’t easy to forge, as much like trying to make 'fetch' happen, it takes a good amount of skill and effort to land a movie like Fatman into perennial rotation. Of course, this sort of schtick isn’t going to be for everyone, as an action-comedy that dances on the line of parody that Grindhouse made magic out of is equally as hard. Jarrod Walker from FilmInk had a less than ideal experience with the movie, labeling it with the following pan:
...isn't as funny or edgy as it needs to be.
Fatman sounds like it’s going to be a divisive holiday offering when it releases into theaters next week, as very little middle ground can be found. Those who don’t like it seem to be dunking on it, while those who do happen to dig it sound almost euphoric. Matthew Pejkovic from Matt’s Movie Reviews is another party that digs this crazy Santa Claus, as his Fatman review tipped its hat not only to Mel Gibson’s performance, but also had some love for one of his co-stars:
Sure to deliver good tidings for those looking for grit and gunfire to their Christmas viewing, with Mel Gibson and [Walton] Goggins especially good as Santa, and Santa hunter, respectfully.
If you’re a person who feels like some subversive fun this Christmas season, and you happen to be a fan of Walton Goggins or Mel Gibson, Fatman sounds like it’s going to be an early present. Both men sounds like they’ve had an absolute blast, giving the world that acts more like Rambo and less like Rudolph the Red. Nosed Reindeer. Rounding out our roundup of early critical reactions, podcast Two Peas On A Pod had this to say:
Mel Gibson as Santa. Walton Goggins as hitman who wants to kill him. That’s it, that’s the review. Full of unexpected heart, Gibson returns to form & Goggins dialed to 11 the entire time. Nelms Bros on point [with] this one, See it! 8/10
Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, Fatman is coming to town pretty soon! This holiday throwdown drops in theaters on November 13, but if you’re looking a home viewing experience, the film will be released to VOD on November 17. And if you’re still in the mood for some new movies debuting through the rest of the year, check out our 2020 release schedule to get the lowdown on your next cinematic adventure!