The Christmas Chronicles 2 Quick View; Grade: C
The Christmas Chronicles 2 continues Kate’s (Darby Camp) reunites with her ole pal Santa (Kurt Russell), as she unexpectedly takes up a journey at the North Pole. This time around Kate will be introduced to the magical workshop, vegetables made out of pastry dishes, and oh boy meeting Mrs. Claus (Goldie Hawn). But Kate wasn’t sent to the North Pole by an open invite from Santa, she was a pawn so a fallen elf named Belsnickel (Julian Dennison) can get back in the North Pole and try to take on his revenge against Santa.
Been awhile since I’ve done one of these Quick View things, figured since this is a newly released film and the fact it really doesn’t deserve a full written review... Let’s get the Quick View shin-gig back up. Surprising enough The Christmas Chronicles 2 is actually playing ay Cinemark theaters, the third largest movie theater franchise in the country... It’s about time Netflix and theater chains finally worked it out, could’ve been done back when Roma rightfully deserved a theatrical release. Sequels for Christmas films rarely often get made, due to the inability to capture the magic from the first film. If you look into the history of Christmas films... You can clearly see there has never been one single good film, it feels nearly impossible to accomplish this sort of thing. With that being said: Christmas Chronicles 2 follows the same trend.
Let’s look at the positives. I do believe Kurt Russell remains the best part of these two films, as he just kicks ass as Santa Claus. He offers a traditional look at Santa, while also bringing a groovy cool look to Santa that keeps it cool and thankfully never has to follow modern day trends. Julian Dennison as the antagonist t’was a nice addition as he played a solid performance, even though he plays a douchebag in every film it seems like, he does it well yet again. I do actually like the character Belsnickel in some ways, I understand this character can become goofy especially the motivation against Santa, however it works just ok here. I like Belsnickel more so displaying the theme and message of this film. The film does offer some genuine laughs, than just providing laughs due to the ridiculous nature of this film. I also liked the messages of this film as well, it’s good for kids to learn to not run away from their problems, while also being less selfish and be more considerate with others.
Now let’s look at the negatives. I wasn’t feeling the special effects in this film at all, kind of found it quite obnoxious. It felt like it was in my face instead of letting be tamed and controlled, it was too much. A fair amount of the performances were meh for the most part, as it felt like I was watching a Hallmark film, especially when this film took place in Cancun oh my God what a nightmare. Our new character Jack (Jahzir Bruno) honestly was unnecessary, in fact I would say his whole side plot dealing with the elves and Mrs. Claus was absolutely stupid. When the film turns back to Kate and Santa it becomes a much better film, when it turns back to Jack and the elves... It was painfully bad. Especially the corny dialogue, the fact that this side plot steals from the second Spongebob SquarePants Christmas special... Was this all necessary to add more to your overly run timed Christmas film?!
Speaking of side plots that felt unnecessary, how about the time travel sequence?! I mean the moment with Kate and Doug (Sunny Suljic) was heart warming indeed, but there is a fair amount of logic issues dealing with this side plot. The ridiculousness nature of this film was getting over barring, as it felt like a watered down version of Gremlins. Just the whole thing with the evil elves was getting ridiculous and unnecessary. A fair amount of dialogue is weak, as it felt like it was dumbing down the audience. Just because you’re a Christmas film aimed for children, doesn’t mean you dumb it more down, felt like I was hearing a translator explain what was going on, even though I could figure that out for myself. For a sequel I say it does better than majority of the attempts made, however still misses the mark.
Overall, The Christmas Chronicles 2 was just ok. If you’ve gone by all that Christmas films already, I guess check this out for yourself. -Mitch Smietana