ninth symphony films - movie reviews

THE SANTA CLAUSE 2 (2002)


DIRECTOR  -  michael lembeck

RATED  -  g

GENRE  -  sci-fi

LENGTH  -  105 minutes

RELEASED  -  1 november 2002

DISTRIBUTOR  -  walt disney pictures

OFFICIAL SITE  -  the santa clause 2

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $65,000,000
the santa clause 2 - a shot from the film

BUY THE DVD:

buy the dvd from the santa clause 2 at amazon.com

buy the dvd from the santa clause 2 at amazon.com


SYNOPSIS:
eight years after taking the job, jolly santa clause must save the north pole and christmas from an evil santa clone.




MOVIE FACT:
the orignal Santa Clause earned 144 million at the box office.


MOVIE FOTOS:

picture from the santa clause 2

picture from the santa clause 2

picture from the santa clause 2



RATING:


three out of four possible stars

Tim Allen is an intelligent comic and his talent in front of the camera shines through in his every scene in The Santa Clause. Although this sequel will not eclipse the first, even with its noticeably bigger budget, the film still has a big heart and should be a delight for young audiences and something not nearly so dreadful as a Pokemon movie to adults. And forgiving the screenwriters for inserting a fart joke into the script, the movie is particularly innocent and with all its sappy Christmas emotion, it is really a film that will put a smile on your face.

This picture has a lot of zest and one might find the amount of energy tiring when its not serving some literary purpose for the story. And as for the story itself, it is all that can be expected from a picture whose claim to fame is the holiday of Christmas. Although the small charm of the first movie has been pounded away by a larger budget in this film, Allen still makes a happy Santa in front of the camera and does his best to entertain the audience with every ounce of his energy while on screen. And when he is on screen, the movie is at its best.

Perhaps the only drawback to Allen's obvious delight in this role is that the situations Santa finds himself in are sometimes too infantile to really entertain an older audience. By definition, this film is meant for little tykes, but some additional effort in making this film appealing to all generations would have been appreciated. As it is rated G, one can only expect that the film would be geared toward children. But in spite of this shortcoming, the film is still an amusing experience for older audiences, even if it is not a completely engrossing film.

Playing the future "Mrs. Clause," Elizabeth Mitchell gives a fine performance as Tim Allen's love interest, though the nearly twenty year age difference takes a few minutes getting used to. It's too common in Hollywood to place dramatically younger actresses opposite older men, and one cannot help but wonder why the casting director picked Mitchell for this role. Certainly, it was for her looks, right off the top, but could anyone really imagine her as a fat, plump, happy Mrs. Clause?

Reprising his role as head elf, David Krumholtz gives a very entertaining performance as Santa's second in command. Krumholtz has a wonderful ability to combine visual and audial comedy, so his physical comedy is always a little fuller because of the way he recites his dialogue. Another actor playing one of Santa's top elves, Spencer Breslin also gives a very funny performance as a nine hundred year old inventor elf. Though he's only about ten years old, Breslin holds his own against the older members of the cast and plays a very endearing character.

It is nice to see that the entire main cast from the first Santa Clause returned for this film. Everyone's a little older and a little wiser, but they give the picture a feeling of familiarity nonetheless. Eric Lloyd, playing Allen's son, and Wendy Crewson, playing Allen's ex-wife, and Judge Reinhold, playing Crewson's second husband, all give suitably sweet performances. It should be safe to say that everyone in this film was "sweet." When they weren't fighting for recognition against the giant sets and booming sound.

There is no doubt that this film received a larger budget from The Mouse to make the story "bigger and better than the original." Whether it is an overall better movie is a question for debate. But that it is a larger movie, both on scope and music, has no place in a debate hall. From the sweeping panoramic shots that clutter the beginning of the film, to the absolutely deafening footsteps of an army of giant evil tin soldiers, this movie is grand in every sense of the word. Although the first movie was handsomely decorated, it wasn't nearly as extensive as this film. But the important fact is that the first film didn't suffer for having a smaller production.

If anything, this movie took everything good about the original and inserted it with success into the sequel. That the sets and sound effects sometimes eclipse the actors on the screen and if not for Tim Allen's ease in front of the camera, this film might have turned into a mindless special effects driven blockbuster. It's quite possible that this film will make the Disney company several million dollars, but it will be on the strength of viewings by very young children, rather than their parents.

While parents might start to squirm before the last climactic battle between the elves and the evil toy soldiers, The Santa Clause 2 is still a very innocent Christmas film that won't bore your socks off. And in point of fact, this film is so deserving of its G rating, that Clause may just be a better ticket than the forthcoming Harry Potter movie, which has been described as a darker affair than it predecessor. In any event, Disney has created a charming Christmas picture that is suitably enjoyable and very appropriate for the Christmas season.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.


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