Review: Uninspired 'The Christmas Chronicles 2' spreads little holiday cheer
Courtesy of Netflix
The yuletide season is upon us and sexy Santa is back in “The Christmas Chronicles 2” a harmless but unnecessary follow-up to Netflix’s 2018 hit. If you remember from the predecessor, we met Goldie Hawn’s Mrs. Claus in what seemed like a nod to her marriage with Kurt Russell who played Santa. Little did we know, director Chris Columbus was planting the seed for a potential franchise.
While “The Christmas Chronicles” had fun with its holiday pride and Russell hammed it up as a macho, good-looking Mr. Claus, its uninspired sequel lacks that magic touch. “Christmas Chronicles 2,” not surprisingly, is about Santa having to save Christmas again. This time from a disgruntled elf-turned-human named Belsnickel (Julian Dennison) who wants to take over the North Pole and lead Santa’s army of gibberish speaking, CGI, Minion-knockoff elves. He steals the village’s prized Christmas-tree star, which is infused with holy light from the Star of Bethlehem and sends St. Nick along with returning character Kate (Darby Camp) and her soon to be stepbrother, Jack (Jahzir Bruno from “The Witches”) back to Boston, 1990 where holiday spirit is so low, the reindeer - who are fueled by people believing in Christmas - can’t achieve lift off.
This sequence gives “The Christmas Chronicles 2” a dose of what happens in the real world (travelers angry their plans have been delayed etc.) However, it quickly detours into an awkward, out-of-the-blue, musical number that undercuts any positive traction the film was starting to muster. Young children are flooded with prime holiday content each year and though I can’t see “The Christmas Chronicles 2” ranking high on their favorites, it should provide a breezy Saturday morning distraction, yet running an overstuffed two hours, they could grow restless. Say what you want about Disney holiday flicks, at least they hoovered around the 90-minute marker.
Russell and Hawn – in their first movie together since 1987’s “Overboard” – make for a charming Mr. and Mrs. Claus despite the screenplay, penned by Matt Liberman and Columbus, giving them little to offer. Don’t worry, the elves get their jiggy on to Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out” and the film ends with a strange caroling séance where Tyrese Gibson sings in autotune. Sometimes the holiday season works in mysterious ways, but “The Christmas Chronicles 2” isn’t the gift that keeps on giving.
THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES 2 is now playing in select theaters and debuts on Netflix November 25th