FATMAN – A Review by Cynthia Flores

FATMAN – A Review by Cynthia Flores

It has been a long while since a new holiday movie has come down the pike with the potential of becoming a classic must-see film for adults. Leave it to 2020 to give us a twisted take on “The Holiday Spirit,” unlike most Santa inspired fare. Fatman, written and directed by brothers Eshom and Ian Nelms, took fourteen years to make it to the screen. They had a particular film style in mind. After making Small Town Crime in 2017, they were able to show what kind of tone Fatman would have. A mix of crime thriller and neo-noir with western undertones. Speaking of tone, the score for Fatman supports this with its lush soundscape by Mondo Boys. At times it seems like a homage to iconic Italian film composer Ennio Morricone. Making the film a sonic treat.

The plot for Fatman is relatively straightforward. To save his declining business, Chris Cringle (Mel Gibson), also known as Santa Claus, is forced into a two-month partnership with the U.S. military. His team of elves is fast and accurate.  So, they’re perfect for making complex electrical components for jets. He needs to make up the cost of maintaining his workshop since his government subsidy is low. It’s based on how many toys are given out during Christmas. Unfortunately, numbers are down for toys and up for lumps of coal for the naughty kids. This alone has Chris in an existential crisis about Christmas’s true meaning and where he fits into it. Making matters worse, Chris gets locked into a deadly battle of wits against a highly-skilled assassin called Skinny Man (Walton Goggins), who is hired by a rotten entitled rich twelve-year-old boy named Billy Wenan (Chance Hurstfield) after receiving a lump of coal in his stocking.

The casting for this film is perfect. I can’t imagine anyone other than Mel Gibson as the introspective yet capable of great violence, Chris. The chemistry between him and British actress Marianne Jean-Baptiste as his wife Ruth brings the story’s heartwarming aspect to the film. Add to that the great Walton Goggins as the hitman and you have sheer perfection. Goggins is a great comedic actor that must have been a real killer in a previous life. It’s so much fun watching him be so evil in this film.

I give Fatman a 5-star rating. So put the kids to bed and grab some spiked eggnog to enjoy this funny, bloody action, Christmas delight.


Directed by: Eshom Nelms, Ian Nelms

Written by: Eshom Nelms, Ian Nelms

Rated: R

Selig Rating: 5 Stars

Running Time:  99 min

Action/ Dark-Comedy

Limited Release: November 13th: Studio Movie Grills, Inwood Theater, IPIC theaters, Flix Brewhouse Frisco/Little Elm, Texas Movie Bistro, Burleson Premiere Lux Cine 14

VOD Release: November 17th

Starring: Mel Gibson, Walton Goggins, Marianne Jean-Baptiste


The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.

4 Stars – Good movie

3 Stars – OK movie

2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.

1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.

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