Reviewed by: Megan Basham
Starring: Tim Allen, Spencer Breslin, Elizabeth Mitchell, Eric Lloyd, David Krumholtz | Directed by: Michael Lembeck | Produced by: Brian Reilly, Bobby Newmyer, Jeffrey Silver, Robert F. Newmyer | Written by: Leonardo Benvenuti, Ken Daurio | Distributor: Walt Disney
In his second installment as the jolly old elf, Tim Allen discovers another clause in the Santa gig—namely, the “Mrs. Clause.” With only days to go before Christmas, it seems St. Nick must find himself a bride or he will cease to be Santa and Christmas will be a bust.
Compounding the problem is that Charlie, Santa’s only son, has taken to spray painting holiday cheer on his high school, landing him on the “naughty list.” Then, while Santa’s off dealing with his rebellious teenager, his life-sized toy stand-in begins exhibiting control issues (absolute power, y’know) and decides to replace everyone’s gifts with coal. (Of course, considering that “Jacka**: The Movie”, was the top-grossing film last week, I can’t say I entirely blame him.)
Overall, “Santa Clause II” is run of the mill family fun. Part of the problem is that it tries to follow too many plot lines at once, missing the opportunity to make any one consistently funny. This is not to say the movie doesn’t have its charms. There are several laugh-out-loud moments, with the strangely hilarious Molly Shannon providing the funniest sequence as Santa’s overly spirited blind date. Also, the cameos during the annual “meeting of mythical figures” are especially fun for grownups, and the North Pole is as delightful a gingerbread wonderland as it could possibly be.
As far as performances go, Tim Allen makes an appealing, and surprisingly believable, Santa, but Elizabeth Mitchell as the object of his affection is the real star of the show. With very little material, she manages to seem both frosty and vulnerable. However, I do have to say that while I know this complaint is a bit tired, I still find it creepy that 49-year-old Tim Allen’s love interest is a twenty-something blond beauty, but I guess that’s Hollywood for you.
Though the film stays true to its “G” rating, I would offer one word of caution: Great emphasis is made throughout the film that without Santa, there would be no Christmas. If you do take your kids to see “Santa Clause II”, I would use it as an opportunity to point out this worldly fallacy, and explain to them that, for some people, Santa is a fun add-on to Christmas, but that the birth of our Savior is the reason for the season. And Christians will always celebrate this—with or without Kris Kringle.
See our review page about the sequel to this film: “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause”