My wife and daughter started watching Christmas movies a few weeks back now, far too early in my opinion. But when the trailer first came out for The Christmas Chronicles on Netflix, it definitely got me in the Christmas spirit and I just couldn’t wait to see it. So, on a lazy Sunday morning, cold and wet outside, all snuggled up in bed and with a cat and a dog spread out on top of us, we decided to watch it. Perfect.
Teddy and Kate Pierce have had a tough year. We see home movies of most of their Christmas’s growing up, showing the good fun times with their parents. And then we see this Christmas. They’ve lost their dad, mum going out to work while Kate helps around the house and Teddy going out with friends, stealing cars and getting into trouble. When mum has to work on Christmas Eve night, the kids are left home alone and Christmas looks like being very different from previous years. While Kate watches those old Christmas movies, she notices a mysterious arm briefly appearing in the corner of the screen and is convinced they’d captured Santa Claus on camera. Enlisting the help of brother Teddy, they decide to try and catch Santa on camera once more. Things don’t end up going quite according to plan though and they end up crash landing with Santa somewhere in Chicago. The reindeer came loose during their descent and are lost in the city. Santa’s hat, which helps him zip around and teleport down chimneys, also blew off during the fall. Christmas is in jeopardy and Santa and his two new helpers need to fix it. We get car chases, badass little elves and Santa in jail wearing shades while playing the piano and belting out Christmas tunes, accompanied by backing singers!
As with any Christmas film that’s introducing us to a new Santa and a new vision of the world he lives in, it takes a little while to get used to. Luckily, this one doesn’t take long, and Kurt Russell is a very believable and enjoyable Santa who doesn’t do ho-ho-ho’s. The one thing that worried me from the trailer were the elves, who looked like they were going to be annoying little CGI characters. Luckily, they’re used sparingly but effectively and were a lot of fun.
The whole Christmas in jeopardy plot is a fairly familiar one, having been done time and again over the years. But I actually really enjoyed this latest spin. Good fun, a bit of emotional stuff at the end and a nice surprise cameo to finish things off. Definitely got me in the Christmas spirit.
Web developer by day, with a movie and TV watchlist that continues to grow as much as my spare time reduces! My favourite movie is Inception and, despite what everyone says, I do not have a man-crush on Tom Cruise.