Rating (2 out of 5)
Kurt sings in jail, a dad dies, reindeer fly over police cars, The Christmas Chronicles tries all the tricks to establish itself as a Christmas classic but ends up being a Christmas dud. I watched Christmas Chronicles as a service to all other Netflix viewers, don’t watch this movie.
Plot: Teddy (Judah Lewis) and Kate (Darby Camp) try to catch Santa (Kurt Russell) on camera. They are able to find him, jump in his sleigh, surprise him, and cause the sleigh to crash. The rest of the night, Teddy, Kate and Santa Claus must recover the reindeer, sleigh, Santa’s hat and bag to save Christmas.
What I Liked: The movie tried to create some new mythology and the myths peeked my interest in the move for a brief minute. For example, Santa explains unless Christmas spirit is maintained, people will commit crimes and go to war. The last time Christmas spirit was low, the Dark Ages….
I liked the scene when Santa goes into a restaurant in Chicago to ask for help. Santa recalls what the adults wanted in their childhood. My favorite recounting occurred with the hostess. The hostess helped them in their escape from the restaurant, nicely rounding out the sequence. Wish they leveraged prior Christmas gifts more humorously and effectively through the rest of the story…for me Atari and Micronauts.
What I Didn’t Like: The movie story line is about helping Teddy come back to the good path (he steals cars since his dad died). The hit you over the head with the whole story line with a big mallet and the hammering takes away from the charm of the movie. Santa’s whole reason for being seen in the first place is to help Teddy believe. Oh come on! And don’t get me started on Santa’s gift to Teddy at the end. Just kill me now.
The notion of elves helping Santa captures the imagination like no other Santa myth, but a collective sigh of disbelief rang through my household when the computer generated cutesy elves show up on screen. Had Christmas Chronicles been a good Disney animated film (not what we received here), it would have been right on target to sell them as plushies in the store. Being a live action movie, the animation is cheesy and lowers the quality of the film.
Finally, the scene where Santa is stuck in jail (oh we haven’t done that before), and Christmas spirit is falling. In order to raise Christmas spirit, he magically makes instruments appear, and Santa starts singing while the rest of his jail mates play instruments. The police just happily listen along. C’mon man.
Conclusion: Offering little over all the other films in the world about Christmas, don’t waste your time on the Netflix film The Christmas Chronicles. . Give me Santa Clause any day over this.