|The Santa Clause 2|
From the first frame, it's clear director Lembeck and the platoon of writers are going for a holiday classic here; the production is big and lush, warm and sweet with lots of colourful wackiness to keep the kids giggling with delight. For the adults, there's just enough grown-up plotting combined with sharp and surprisingly witty throwaway gags. And there's even a fairly strong teen character for those in between. Yes, it's Christmas fun for the whole family! It's also painfully predictable on most levels, completely unnecessary, and it borrows heavily from the ghosts of holiday classics past. Once the requirements of the plot are set in motion, Allen gets on with what he does best: making fun of everything while never getting mean about it. This allows the romance to actually feel fresh ... and knowingly absurd. And there are hilarious comic bits (the school faculty Christmas party is classic), with astute details and some truly awful effects (the reindeer are appalling; where's the Jim Henson team when we need them?). Basically it's one of those childish movies adults enjoy far more than they expect to. And that very rare Christmas film worth adding to the Nice List.
dir Michael Lembeck|
scr Leonardo Benvenuti, Ken Daurio, Ed Decter, Cinco Paul, Steve Rudnick, John J Strauss
with Tim Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell, Eric Lloyd, David Krumholtz, Spencer Breslin, Wendy Crewson, Judge Reinhold, Art LaFleur, Michael Dorn, Aisha Tyler, Kevin Pollak, Peter Boyle
release US 1.Nov.02; UK 29.Nov.02
Toy story. Everything's just fine in Santa's factory until he discovers that he didn't read the fine print (Breslin, Krumholtz and Allen).
|"This is a sequel - we all know how it will end, and pretty much what will happen. The good guys win in this movie - it is nice to know that rule still applies. We enjoyed this movie - probably even better than the first one. Definitely one to see with kids, or just to go and have a hearty laugh." --Laurie T, Minneapolis 12.Nov.02|