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  • Writer's pictureStrictly Films

Spirited; Grade: C

So I’ve attended a Regal Movie Mystery event on Monday November 7th, 2022! I didn’t attend the first one due to the fact I had work on that day, but was able to attend the second one since I had a day off. With the mystery film being listed as PG-13 with a run time of two hours and thirty one minutes, I was brought assumption that the mystery film would be Steven Speilbergs newest film The Fabelmans! The film was going to be released in a couple weeks, so I was hyped up to see that film a couple weeks in advance. As I dive in to my dark chocolate raisinets, as the previews finally cleared up along with the Regal commercials… I was extremely disappointed to see an Apple TV Plus Logo, which turns out the mystery film was the newest holiday film Spirited.

Spirited tells a story about the ghost of Christmas Present (Will Ferrell), whom has for the last couple centuries has been doing a grand amount of good for humanity. Each and every Christmas season: The Ghost Christmas Present along with the others, gather together, hoping to change someone for the better this holiday season by doing the ole Christmas Carol shtick. This holiday season Christmas Present wants to take on a massive challenge… Changing the Unredeemable to Redeemable. Here we have a man from Vancoover named Clint (Ryan Reynolds), who brings division amongst society for a living to make grand profits. Christmas Present sees Clint as an opportunity to produced real change towards society, as if he can change Clint, surely he can make the world a better place.

I knew about the existence of Spirited going to be a massive holiday release for Apple Tv Plus, what I didn’t know is that Ryan Reynolds was also in this film as I could’ve sworn it was Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd co starring… So at least there was two surprises along with this surprise showing. As far as Sean Anders as a filmmaker… I’ve actually have liked his work, as he’s mainly centered around comedies. I’ve enjoyed Sex Drive, That’s My Boy, Horrible Bosses 2, Daddy’s Home 2, and really enjoyed Instant Family quite a bit… So perhaps Spirited does have potential to be liked. 

Best thing going for Spirited is surprisingly the character development involving one of our lead characters Christmas Present. While the film insists that our main culprit is Clint, it so happens that our film slowly develops Christmas Present as there is a reasoning behind why exactly he continues this charade, even though he’s granted retirement 46 seasons ago. There is a great amount of guilt Christmas Present carries around with him, which is the main reason why he refuses to retire as he feels he isn’t worthy enough to move forward and be granted a second shot at life. I felt the character developement towards that character was fairly executed, while delivering a valuable message that can be relatable towards those whom feel they can never move forward since they’ve made mistakes in the past or are immensely flawed.

The film does have a few moments of humor here and there that is actually funny. I do feel the whole Unredeemable musical number, where Christmas Present is closing in on finally caving into retirement was actually a good musical number. You can even say the whole romance side of the story between Christmas Present and Kimberly (Octavia Spencer) was cute to watch as well. 

I felt how the film developed Clint felt underwhelming to me, as I felt it was poorly developed. It felt like everything following to where he ends up in the end, didn’t feel believable at all, simply by not following a completed structure. Considering this film is a musical… I felt majority of the musical numbers were bland for the most part, which makes sense since the team behind Dear Evan Hansen worked on this which surprisingly this film is better musical wise in comparison to that film thankfully. Comedy didn’t always land, there were quite a bit of comedic moments that weren’t funny at all as well.

For a holiday musical: It’s not the worst I’ve seen, as there is a little appreciation for what the film was trying to say, especially towards redemption or how problematic our society is currently run towards division as it literally does absolutely nothing but harm. Surely people will get a kick out of this, while learning a valuable lesson… But unfortunately those same people that’ll express genuine emotion towards this film, will later on crucify someone on the internet, which is a damn shame.

Overall, Spirited was just ok. Give it a go this holiday season on Apple TV Plus, I’m still pissed we didn’t get The Fabelmans as our surprise film… Regal really bamboozled us, still was a enjoyable experience seeing a neager and an excited audience, hope they do more cool unique events like these more often. -Mitch Smietana

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