2.5/10 After foolishly thinking some original Netflix movies that were Christmas themed would put me in the holiday spirit this week, I find myself feeling the opposite way due to two terrible movies in a row. The worst part of “The Christmas Chronicles” is that it actually starts off promising. The set-up is grounded enough, the pacing works great and we get a unique spin on the Santa Claus fable. However, things go downhill quicker than Santa’s holiday spirit measurer. What starts intriguing devolves into stupidity, ridiculousness and eye rollingly awful moments. By the time we hit Santa and a full band of criminals (who all happen to be expert musicians which begs the question why they turned to a life of crime instead of joining an orchestra) putting on a Christmas concert for a bunch of moronic cops, I had totally checked out and was just waiting for the movie to end as soon as possible. The script goes off the rails and has some clunky exposition, forced references, bland characters and no laughter. I would say the CGI reindeer looked bad but then the elves come onscreen and make the reindeer look real in comparison. I haven’t cringed this hard at awful CGI since “Cats”. The elves looked like they walked off of the set of 2011’s “Gnomeo & Juliet”. Our female lead Kate, inexplicably learns Elvish instantly, despite admitting to being awful at learning new languages and we are just supposed to nod our heads and go along with the lazy writing and all the nonsense. The tone goes from heartfelt family drama to cheesy kids movie at an insane speed. Speaking of speed, a chase scene in Chicago feels extremely like a movie set as opposed to the real streets of Chicago due to there being absolutely no other drivers on the road in one of the most populated cities in the country, until the very last second when a car needs to crash. The “one parent is dead” plot is ripped straight from every animated Disney movie. With so many Christmas movies to choose from, this movie does nothing to set itself apart from the vastly superior holiday films out there. The only few positives this movie has to offer come from some of the cast and a few visuals. Kurt Russell is having a blast playing a more fit version of Santa and Darby Camp is delightful as Kate. The visual representation of how Santa gets around the world so quickly, how he goes down the chimney, etc. was actually quite beautiful to watch and original. Seeing some of Santa’s lair also showed off some impressive production and set design. A couple decent performances and some visual flair don’t make up for the rest of the visuals being awful and a script that would be better served as confetti thrown into the air on Christmas day. I sincerely hope they put more energy into the sequel’s script and now have the budget to provide some half way decent CGI. I will find out and post the sequel’s review tomorrow but in the meantime, all of you looking for a Christmas film to watch with the family would be wise to avoid this. Kids will surely love it for the quick pacing, animated creatures and silly hijinks, but anyone over the age of 13 would rather receive coal in their stocking than have to sit through this sleigh wreck.
#HoHoHopingTheSequelIsBetter / #SaintNickAtNite / #NorthPolyShit / #SkyHigh2 / #ReindeerAndPresentDanger / #OverBored