Warning: Spoilers for Fatman are in play. If you don’t want to peek at the presents this film’s plot has to offer, turn back and come back after you’ve seen the movie.
No one could have ever imagined that the world would get a movie where Mel Gibson plays a hardened, combat ready Santa Claus; but we are living in 2020, and it’s been a wild year. But nothing beats the crazy ride that is Fatman, or its rowdy finish, as by time the film ends, the story has fully taken its audience for a rollercoaster ride of action. And the only thing wilder than Fatman’s ending are the events that set up the grand finale. Last chance to avoid spoilers, dear friends, as we’re about to jump into the holiday madness that is Fatman.
What Happens At The End Of Fatman?
During the entirety of Fatman, there’s a continual battle between Chris Cringle (Mel Gibson) and his Christmas spirit. A lot of setbacks and compromises occurred up at the North Pole, but he actually survives it all, and only had to lose an eye in the process. The shady alliance between hired assassin Jonathan Miller (Walton Goggins) and his employer, spoiled rich kid Billy Wenan (Chance Hurstfield,) almost wiped Santa out for good.
But surviving his wounds, he and his wife Ruth (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) are ready to keep the spirit of Christmas alive; and they confront Billy in person to confirm as much. Just as he’s about to kill his grandmother, from whom he’s been embezzling money to pay Jonathan to do his dirty work, Billy is visited by the Cringles and give one, final warning. Should he even step one foot out of line, he’ll get more than a simple lump of coal, because “the Fatman’s got his eye on you.”
That Time Santa Almost Died In Fatman
You really can’t blame Chris Cringle for this change of heart, as Fatman really puts him through the paces. The culmination of those incremental actions is a showdown at the North Pole that sees Walton Goggins’ Jonathan Miller wrecking shop in Santa’s domain. Not only does Jonathan stab Chris several times with a really big blade mounted on his leg, but he blows up a significant portion of the workshop that Chris Cringle uses to get his business done.
When you stab Santa through the chest, and take one of his eyes, that’s going a bit overboard. Fatman truly goes pretty hard when trying to convince us that Chris is truly dead, right down to a moment where Ruth is cradling a supposedly dying Chris in her arms. It pretty much seals the fact that Fatman is the Logan of Santa Claus movies. Of course, this is after Ruth puts a musket ball in Jonathan’s head, as his attempt to hunt and kill Mrs. Cringle ends with a soft “I’m sorry,” and a loud bang. But Chris survives, and he’s ready to get the job done.
Wait, What The Hell Happens In The Rest Of Fatman?
You might still be scratching your head as to what in the name of hot cocoa is going on in Fatman right about now. Even after witnessing it all for yourself, it’s a big adventure to wrap your head around, and we wouldn’t blame you for taking a moment to pause and wonder how it all got to this point. Well, it’s very simple, as Fatman isn’t only about the forces of evil trying to wipe out Santa, it’s also about Chris Cringle trying to make ends meet in an increasingly naughty world.
While part of Fatman’s plot focuses on Billy’s reign of terror, which encompasses torturing a rival who bested him at the school science fair, as well as Jonathan’s quest to collect as many presents from Santa’s workshop as possible, Chris’ life before the big hit wasn’t exactly easy. Falling behind on quotas for present delivery, the US government shorts the money that the Cringle operation is guaranteed in their contract. But they do offer a solution, and Santa becomes a government contractor who builds aircraft parts in his workshop in the off season.
The US Government really wants to make this a permanent fix in Fatman, but Santa’s not biting. But while Chris is agonizing over keeping the lights on, the lump of coal he sent young Billy at Christmas puts into motion a huge game that winds up seeing Walton Goggins facing off against the US Military… and winning! Even Billy’s absent father might be impressed with the measures this little hellion took to fight a vendetta, and potentially kick off a franchise.
How Does Fatman Set Up A Potential Franchise/Sequel
Throughout Fatman we see Chris Cringle changing his ways, an also trying to influence the behaviors of others. Mel Gibson’s Santa knows the bad behaviors of others, and he tries to give people an out in as gentle a way as possible. Chris demonstrates trying to put people on the straight and narrow in one particular scene, where he convinces a man to go home to his loving family, rather than cheat on his wife with a local bartender. It’s a scene of quiet conversation that sees just the right amount of force applied.
However, Fatman’s ending shows us that if you’re really naughty, Santa’s not going to spare you. His patience is running thin, and now that he’s dispatched of a killer who’s taken out an entire cadre of US Military assistance, he just might be in business with the government again, if he so chooses. Only instead of building weapons, he might just become one, as writer/director team Eshom and Ian Nelms hae set the table for a potential Fatman saga that sees Chris Cringle target the uber-naughty throughout the world.
Overall, there’s another story to be told, one where Fatman really questions the motivations of its lead character. Mel Gibson’s “bad ass Santa” is obviously primed for some sweet vengeance in a world he increasingly disapproves of. But the most logical end point would see Chris taking out dictators and rogue agents, only to wind up facing himself in the mirror and wondering where the line between naughty and nice truly lies. At least, that’s one way that this potential world could pan out.
Apologies to those who wandered into Fatman and thought that maybe two co-stars of the neo-noir film Tequila Sunrise would be bringing back the whimsical magic of Christmas movies to the screen. But Mel Gibson’s Santa is a very different beast from Kurt Russell’s more holly jolly co-hort in The Christmas Chronicles series. And as you can see, should the Fatman return, there’s going to be a lot more than coal in some people’s stockings, if they choose the path of the naughty. You can see Fatman for yourself, in limited theatrical release, as well as on VOD and Digital HD; but be warned, it’s not exactly the type of movie you watch during a family dinner.