Scott Calvin has been Santa Claus for the past eight years, and his loyal elves consider him the best Santa ever. But Santa's got problems (he's even mysteriously losing weight) and things quickly go south when he finds out that his son, Charlie, has landed on this year's "naughty" list. Desperate to help his son, Scott heads back home, leaving a substitute Claus to watch over things at the Pole. But when the substitute institutes some strange redefinitions of naughty and nice, putting Christmas at risk, it's up to Scott to return with a new bag of magic to try to save Christmas. Written by
Walt Disney Pictures
Now, I cannot really describe what sort of expectations I had coming into this movie. I barely remember the first Santa Clause, which came out over six years ago, so the idea of a sequel after such a long break made me rethink its possibilities. Then my family and I went to go see it today, and for what it is worth, SC2 is pretty decent. Okay, so there isn't a lot of humor that will appeal to the older siblings or parents in the audience, but the colorful sets, simple story, and a good cast make it worth the trip. Tim Allen is just fine as Santa, although for such a good comedian I was hoping he would improvise some more sly humor or gags into the role. One wonders what Robin Williams or, heck, Chris Rock could do with the role of the big guy. The woman who plays Allen's possible love interest was also pretty good, but her character fell in love with Scott Calvin so fast it seemed like the script was forcing the relationship. Pretty much everyone from 1996's Santa Clause is back, including Charlie, who is now all grown up and as cute as a button. They try to present him as somehwhat of a delinquent, but considering all he does is throw snowballs and do a little light grafitti work, it seems like he's more of a Disney thug than anything you would see on the streets of reality. The only actor I could have nixed from the film and not missed was the chubby kid who was also in Bruce Willis' The Kid and provided voicework for the Peter Pan sequel. It just feels like Disney is recycling him into every movie they have, and he isn't even that good of a child actor. Oh, and did anyone catch the insanely obvious product placement for McDonald's? Sheesh, I have a problem with such blatant advertising like this, but at the same time it is kind of funny to watch the Marketing Gears groan and grind (look, Charlie is having a BIG MAC). Oh, and the reindeer character eats a lot of brand name candy (including a yummy CRUNCH BAR). I liked Comet, even if he is an obvious animatronic creation, and appreciated the fact that the filmakers didn't get lazy and just use CGI, but what if he had just spoken English? Why the weird reindeer language? Tim Allen had to repeat everything Comet said just so we could understand, and that got a little old. What's that Comet? You can't fly? You say Timmy is at the bottom of the well and he is hemmoraging? Hee hee...sorry, I couldn't resist. Anyway, this review is getting kind of long, so I'll wrap it up by saying that The Santa Clause 2 is a great movie to take the family to, but don't expect long-lasting memories. It certainly looks better than Adam Sandler's animated PG-13 movie. What was that man thinking? I give SC2 3/4 stars.
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