A little over long in my opinion, and a little bit more ridiculous than the first one. But just as warm and fuzzy.
Director: Chris Columbus
Screenwriter: Matt Lieberman, Chris Columbus
Starring: Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Darby Camp
Genre: Adventure, Comedy
Runtime: 112 Minutes
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by: Pearl
Kate Pierce is having a really bad Christmas. Her mom as a new boyfriend and Kate feels like she has no time for her anymore. After she get mysteriously transported to the North Pole with her soon to be younger Stepbrother in tow, Kate trues to convince Santa to let her stay there forever, not having to return to her family. But while she is there, it turns out Santa needs her help once again as one young boy is about to do something to put Christmas at risk forever.
If you thought the plot to the first ‘The Christmas Chronicles’ was bonkers, just wait until you get a load of this. I know any story involving a real-life Santa is a little fantastical, and that’s part of what makes it magical, but this one just seemed a little to ridiculous. Also, I felt it tried to stuff way too many things into one film, leaving it feeling a little overstuffed and a little overly long. In order to try and round up all of the plots that they had going on, including a really odd time travel sequence that came out of nowhere, the film had to extend its run time to almost two hours. And it was unnecessary. Taking out a few of the minor plots that were going on would have shaved valuable minutes of the time and made it flow a lot better.
Returning cast member Darby camp makes a second appearance as Kate Pierce. She is still just as charming and, despite her character being a few years older, still manages to keep a lot of that childlike innocence that she had in the first film. I had expected them to change up her character, have her be more jaded, or be doubting the experiences she had with Santa. I was pleased to see they hadn’t done that, instead the antagonism came from a new character. Even if I wasn’t the biggest fan of that character. Jahzir Bruno as Jack was another great addition to this film, he even broke the fourth wall a few times, with glances at the camera. I am never really a big fan of fourth wall breaks outside of ‘Deadpool’ But it did seem to fit with the zany style of comedy this film was going for.
This time around, Santa is joined by his wife, simply known as ‘Mrs Claus’ played by Goldie Hawn. And while she does an excellent job in the role, and she really really brings the warm and fuzzy feelings to the film, I don’t know if her inclusion was really necessary. It’s great to see another aspect to the character of Santa by showing him interacting with his wife, but her character was mostly filler and could have been replaced by any number of the elves, or by Santa himself.
Taking place mostly in Santa’s village in the North Pole, the one thing that really stands out here is the set design. It was just gorgeous. When you close your eyes and think of what Santa’s home would look like, it is exactly like this.
A step down from the first film in my opinion, but that doesn’t mean It’s a bad film, and for a family movie night this festive season, it will be a sure winner.
‘The Christmas Chronicles 2’ is streaming now on Netflix.