Christmas Fantasy
The Santa Clause 2
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Dir: John Pasquin
Star: Tim Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd, Judge Reinhold
Cert / Year: U - PG / 2002
Format: DVD R2
'

Eight years on and despite the most popular Santa ever, Scott Calvin / Santa Claus (Tim Allen) has got problems. Things rapidly get worse when he learns that his son, Charlie (Eric Lloyd) has managed to wind up on the "naughty list" this year due to some high school vandalism. Intent upon helping his son, Scott heads back home, leaving a manufactured "Santa substitute" in his place to keep things ticking over at the Pole. Unfortunately the substitute Santa decides to redefine the whole "naughty and nice" parameters of the job whilst Scott must now also honour a second "Clause" to the Santa Clause of which he fell foul of in the first film. Now he must get married before Christmas Eve or he will cease to be Santa Claus any longer. With Christmas now at risk, Scott has 27 days to save sort out his son, find a bride and return to the pole to stop the evil Santa clone and save Christmas.

The second outing for Tim Allen as Santa Claus in this sequel to the popular 1994 film The Santa Clause. The first film was a refreshing festive treat with some good humour and a warm story. This time around, the kids almost take a back seat, as the film appears to pander more to the adult audience as opposed to child and adult alike, which the first film did so well. The romantic angle although not in your face is to the fore and can appear a little heavy at times and some of the gags are likely to pass right over the heads of the child viewers who may well ultimately feel alienated by this practice. The Santa Clause was definitely a film that everyone could enjoy equally. The original script and the stars were funnier and it proves to be a much more charming and better rounded film than this.

As with The Santa Clause there is some good and witty humour and some reasonable performances. Primarily due to the fact that thankfully the major cast members from the original return to reprise their roles. Neil and Scott's characters actually work a little better this time around, although Neil still has an unhealthy fondness for hideous woolen jumpers and Scott still has a major dislike for Neil's insistence of spouting psychology at the slightest excuse. Judge Reinhold crams a little more into his character here and provides a better performance, allowing Neil to flesh out a little. The "love interest" comes in the delightful shape of newcomer Elizabeth Mitchell as stern schoolteacher Miss Newman, complimented by a good performance by Mitchell. Star Trek fans will no doubt recognize Worf himself, Michael Dorn playing the "Sandman" in a short but fun performance. Cult star Art LaFleur even crops up and scene steals his way through his amusing performance of the Tooth Fairy or "The Molarnator" as he likes to be called. Tim Allen is still funny as Scott Calvin / Santa Claus and even handles the romance thing well but to be honest the "evil Santa" thing is a bit unnecessary really and proves a little too much. There was plenty that the filmmakers could have done instead of that which would have worked out better and probably wouldn't have worried the younger viewers so much. If the money they poured into that aspect of the film had been turned to the special effects then they would not have looked so cheap and no doubt worked much better. The animatronic Reindeer still work very well, but now they are accompanied by some poor looking CGI reindeer as well in places which is dissappointing. Allen suffers a bit from some poor writing though and isn't afforded as many laughs and giggles as he should have had.

The whole holly and tinsel garnished affair maintains the Disney-esque warm and cuddly feel but is terribly predictable and lacking the charm of the original. Yes, it is a bit dumb in places but it is fun in a schmaltzy way, making it an enjoyable and moderately entertaining film. Not as good as the first film but it is a good Christmas family movie with a few good laughs, but not a potential classic.... Unlike it's predecessor. The highlight of the film really is the School faculty Christmas party, which thanks to a little Santa magic is turned from a miserable and tortuous gathering to an enchanting fun filled party. Certainly one of the best holiday set pieces for a while, and rounded off with a very nicely done kiss under the mistletoe.

Almost as good as the first film but just doesn't hit quite the same mark I'm afraid. The romantic angle although not really necessary is well handled and not too obtrusive as the film's main Christmas spirit and good cheer message is still the predominant one (but only just!). It takes a while to really find its feet and settle in to a pace and direction because for a while it is a little messy, whether that is entirely due to poor direction by television director Lembeck or some dodgy editing it is difficult to decide.

Quotes

Evil Santa:You are a sad, strange little man!

Quotes

Bernard: Curtis! You're 900 years old, grow up!

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

DVD
Picture 1.85:1 Widscreen good clean image
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Very cool
Features Cool animated menu
"True confessions of the legendary figures" - series of interviews with Father Time, Mother Nature etc.
"Inside the North Pole with Curtis" - behind the scenes footage hosted by the annoying new Elf
"Direcors tour of Elfsberg" - Behind the scenes featurette
An amusing "Gag reel"
Deleted Scenes
"Save Santa" game - mind boggling and not as good as the game on the original. No prize cartoon or anything when you complete it either!
Verdict A pretty good with a couple of nice extras. Nothing really impressive though and compared to the first film's release this is a little boring. A nice addition though to any collection of Christmas movies.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Reviewed by Logan Back Top Home