Fatman (2020) Cover Movie Summary
To save his declining business, Chris Cringle, also known as Santa Claus, is forced into a partnership with the U.S. military. Making matters worse, Chris gets locked into a deadly battle of wits against a highly skilled assassin, hired by a precocious 12-year-old, after receiving a lump of coal in his stocking.
A well-cast Gibson has a ball playing a grizzled Chris Cringle. Times are hard for the not-so-jolly old elf who feels tossed aside by the cold and selfish world. “I’ve lost my influence,” he laments to his devoted wife Ruth (Marianne Jean-Baptiste). She’s an encourager by nature but also level-headed and not afraid to speak the truth when he needs to hear it. I couldn’t help but love the simple yet sweet chemistry between Gibson and Jean-Baptiste. They make for a convincing couple.
On the business side of things, kids are naughtier than ever which means fewer toy deliveries. This displeases the US Government who sees Chris as an economic asset. “We want your holiday spirit. It generates holiday spending.” With their yearly subsidy set to be well below his current budget, Chris agrees to take on a military contract to make ends meet. The sheer absurdity of it had me laughing out loud – subsidies, bottom lines, the elves in Santa’s workshop manufacturing jet fighter parts for the military. It’s funny stuff made even funnier by the film’s straight-faced approach.
But soon Santa has more to worry about than finances. After a rich and insufferable little snot named Billy (Chance Hurstfield) gets a lump of coal for Christmas, he secretly uses his family’s wealth to hire a hitman (Walter Goggins) to kill Santa Claus. Goggins hams it up playing a cold-blooded sociopath with his own bone to pick with Chris over a Christmas present he never received as a kid. Perfectly reasonable reaction, right? But hunting down the Fatman won’t be easy. It’s not like Santa’s workshop is marked on a map or can be found on a GPS.
So Chris tries to find his lost Christmas spirit while keeping his elves employed and his business afloat. Meanwhile there’s a contract on his head and an eager assassin is ready to cash in. It leads to the inevitable bullet-riddled final act that is far more satisfying than it has any right to be.