Look, some concepts are just so wild that you have to take a look just to convince yourself that it’s real.
Omit a few key details and Fatman, the latest feature from filmmaking siblings Eshom and Ian Nelms, could just be another geriactioner of the type that has sustained Liam Neeson in his dotage. Mel Gibson plays an ageing tough guy who finds himself having to rely on his “certain set of skills” once more when he winds up in the crosshairs of a lethal assassin (the great Walton Goggins of The Shield/Sons of Anarchy/Justified fame). The wrinkle is that the assassin has been hired by Billy Wenan (Chance Hurstfield), a rich, spoiled 12 year old kid who is peeved at Gibson because he left a lump of coal for him on Christmas morning – because Gibson is Chris Cringle, aka Santa Claus.
That’s the joke, folks, and it’s almost the only one going in this absolute curio of a film. Which is not to say that Fatman isn’t funny; rather, the whole thing is played almost absolutely straight, relying on the yawning chasm between the absurdity of the situation and the unblinking seriousness of the lead performances to generate laughs.