The Santa Clause 2

on November 01, 2002 by Tim Cogshell
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Eight years after being tapped as the new Santa when the old one fell over dead on his doorstep, Scott Calvin (Tim Allen of "Galaxy Quest") finds out he's in violation of his Santa contract. It seems he's required to have a Mrs. Claus, or he'll be de-Santafied. This would apparently be terrible, as even the Elves admit that the once-surly divorcé, who never really wanted to be Santa in the first place, is the best Santa they've had in hundreds of years. Nevertheless, Santa's losing weight and the old Christmas magic ain't what it used to be. Bernard-the-Elf (David Krumholtz) and Curtis-the-Elf (Spencer Breslin) come up with a plan: They'll replace Santa Scott with a rather obvious giant rubber robot Santa (to keep the other Elves and reindeer from panicking), and send Scott home to land a little lady Claus. The movie bounces awkwardly back and forth between the North Pole, where the automated Santa is going nuts and putting everyone on the Naughty List, and Scott's old life, where his teenage son has gotten himself put on the Naughty List of his school principal, Ms. Newman (Elizabeth Mitchell of "Nurse Betty"), whom Scott has scoped out as the next Mrs. Claus.

There are no less than five credited writers for "Santa Clause 2" (though it's more like seven if you count the original story authors) and they still only got it half right. The storyline involving everything that happens at the North Pole is insipid and contrived for the youngest potential audience of this G-rated family flick, while the love story has moments of pithiness and sincere charm. Allen is good and so is Mitchell, each working the full range of their characters as Scott attempts to connect with his son and the demonstrably cool lady principal. Like most Disney releases, "Santa Clause 2" is a conflagration of trite family film clichés and, as such, is logically, emotionally and spiritually wrong. For one thing, this film continues to cling to the notion that anyone on the planet would want to be Santa Claus at all, let alone go along with being forced into it. This is insane: You're fat, you have to wear that red suit, and you have to hang out with a bunch of Elves all day. Furthermore, who would want to be married to this guy? The fate for the betrothed is the same: mandatory obesity, bad clothes and Elves everywhere. It's a ridiculous movie about a silly mythical figure who does not exist--and, if he did, he would take just about any opportunity to get out of the job and these dreadful sequels. Starring Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Elizabeth Mitchell, David Krumholtz, Spencer Breslin, Kevin Pollack and Molly Shannon. Directed by Michael Lembeck. Written by Don Rhymer and Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio and Ed Decter & John J. Strauss. Produced by Brian Reilly, Bobby Newmyer and Jeffrey Silver. A Buena Vista release. Comedy. Rated G. Running time: 105 min

Tags: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Elizabeth Mitchell, David Krumholtz, Spencer Breslin, Kevin Pollack, Molly Shannon, Directed by Michael Lembeck, Don Rhymer, Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio, Ed Decter, John J. Strauss, Brian Reilly, Bobby Newmyer, Jeffrey Silver, A Buena Vista release, Comedy, emotional, ridiculous, mythical, family
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