Review of 'The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two'

christmas_chronicles_2.jpg Following up the reasonably successful The Christmas Chronicles inevitably led to this sequel which is not as good as the original.

Two years after the events of the first film see Kate Pierce (Darby Camp) and her brother Teddy (Judah Lewis) spending Christmas in Cancun with their mother Claire (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) and new boyfriend Bob (Tyrese Gibson) along with his son Jack (Jahzir Bruno). Kate is not happy spending Christmas away from the more wintery Boston so decides to get an early flight back. Joined by Jack the two are unexpectedly transported to the North Pole by a mischievous former elf, Belsnickel (Julian Dennison). Due to some serious unresolved childhood resentment issues Belsnickel is determined to destroy Christmas by stealing the Christmas star and releasing a magic potion that causes Santa's elves to go insane. It is up to Santa Claus (Kurt Russell), Mrs. Clause (real life wife Goldie Hawn), Kate and Jack to save the day…

The charm of the first film (though still not a stunner, in my books) was in it's mixing of reality and fantasy. This charm is missing here with a largely paint-by-numbers “save the day” action flick pretty much squarely in the fantasy camp. The action is frenetic and fairly violent for a Christmas movie that, despite the rather personal plot involving parental love, lacks any heart. It is good to see Goldie Hawn playing a much more active role in proceedings after only a cameo in the first and provides much of the plot movement here. Russel is much less the focus here as we are too much involved with the nasty actions of Belsnickel.

A big, brash film following the somewhat more sedate original and lacking the heart of the first. Still, will keep the kids entertained, no doubt.

Rating: “Average, but who wants to be average?”

Review Date: 2020-12-31

Directed by: Chris Columbus

Studio: 1492 Pictures

Year: 2020

Length: 112 minutes

Genre: Fantasy

Other reviewed films by Chris Columbus: