Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Thankfully has basics.
I think you’ll all agree with me that The Santa Clause movie worked on its own. It held together that holiday spirit while treating us to an interesting twist to the whole…Santa thing. There was never really any need for a sequel, or two at that, but it was a popular movie. I’m not really surprised that they did make a sequel. The thing is, how do you make a sequel to a movie that is more or less a film about self-discovery and transformation? I guess by doing the opposite…anti-transformation…or something like that. The Santa Clause 2 has exactly what it needed to be a successful sequel, but honestly…what’s the point?
Alright, so Scott Calvin is still Santa, which means he hasn’t fallen off any roofs lately, but he finds himself slimming down…his beard is even getting shorter. Turns out that he is de-santafying. Remember that Santa Claus business card with the “clause” on it stating he turns into Santa if he wears the suit? Well, it turns out that if you look a little closer, there is a second and more important clause that states that if he doesn’t have a Mrs. Clause, he cannot be Santa…I guess within a certain time frame of being the big guy. Here’s the problem, he didn’t figure that out until the last minute and had to get married in a month to stay Santa…meanwhile he’s rapidly turning into Scott Calvin again. All the while, his son Charlie has been thrown into the naughty list. So Santa must travel back home to deal with his son, fall in love, while still keeping the North Pole as busy as ever. His solution, create a toy clone of himself that deals with the slack back at work.
Let me start off with the positive, because there are clearly things I have issues with this film…and I can really go off on a tangent. Alright, here’s what I liked about it: They updated the visuals. The sets and graphics have improved greatly. There’s a new North Pole that has a pretty memorable appearance on its own. I also liked that the entire cast was back, this is actually really important for the third one. Elizabeth Mitchell is the main new character here, and she is brilliant in her role. She adds that feminine view to Christmas that I really think the series needed, and her chemistry with Allen is sweet and unforgettable. I also like the addition of the next “clause”. Giving it a new “clause” is a little unbelievable, but they played it well enough to be funny and to be relevant for the title of the film.
Here’s the biggest praise I got – Santa reverted to the Tim Allen that we all know and love. Again, this is important for the third movie, because half of what makes this series so great is the balance between fantasy and reality. Tim Allen grounds the series nicely as his normal self, and brings a lot of spirit to the series as Santa Claus. It’s a relationship that really works well together.
Now onto the bad stuff. For the most part, I just found a lot of plot holes that just don’t make sense with the first film. First of all, the Curtis Elf…apparently he is Elf No. 2 that is in charge of all business dealings…yet he wasn’t in the first film. Hmm, maybe that’s because Bernard was in charge of that before, and they created Curtis for cheap laughs while Bernard sat in the background with a thumb up his butt. I hate that they had Bernard in there and gave him such a useless role. Boo.
Next, if a wife is so important to have to stay Santa Claus, then where was the wife of the Santa that Scott killed in the first one, huh? Did she die too? Would have been nice to have an explanation. Finally, my main issue with this film was toy clone Santa…let’s face it. He was irrelevant. The whole idea of his existence is so Santa can be away from the North Pole while having someone else in charge…excuse me? When Tim Allen became Santa Claus in the first film, he was with his family the entire year before he returned to the North Pole and delivered gifts. Who was directing the North Pole then? Oh I know, probably Bernard, back when he played a more vital character! I’m sorry, but the toy clone of Santa was there solely for laughs, and by doing that, you get a more confusing and cluttered story. *exhales*
The Santa Clause 2 still maintained the Christmas spirit, which is half of what Christmas movies are designed to provide. Tim Allen is such a great actor that is able to present comedy that is both hilarious and family friendly. His transformation from the first film is also very apparent here and he is so good at smiling and being loveable. Elizabeth Mitchell played brilliantly alongside Allen, helping spread Christmas spirit that much further.
Toy Santa Clone. They wanted to keep the setting in the North Pole, and by doing that, they cluttered an otherwise great story. That balance the first one gave off was a little lopsided here as we lose sight in what we’re really supposed to focus on.
Toy Santa: You are a sad, strange little man. (Technically, I think Scott Calvin should have shouted back that he is a toy…but I guess that would be stealing Tom Hanks’s line)