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Movie Review

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

Reviewed by: Bob Rossiter
CONTRIBUTOR

Better than Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Family
Genre:
Kids Family Comedy Fantasy Sequel
Length:
1 hr. 38 min.
Year of Release:
2006
USA Release:
November 3, 2006 (wide)
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures

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Featuring: Tim Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd
Director: Michael Lembeck
Producer: William W. Wilson III, Brian Reilly, Jeffrey Silver
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures

“'Twas the fight before Christmas”

Tim Allen reprises his role of Scott Calvin—AKA Santa—as he juggles a full house of family and the mischievous Jack Frost (Martin Short), who is trying to take over the ‘big guy’s’ holiday. At the risk of giving away the secret location of the North Pole, Scott invites his in-laws (Ann-Margret and Alan Arkin) to share in the holiday festivities, and upcoming birth of baby Claus with expectant wife, Carol—AKA Mrs. Claus (Elizabeth Mitchell). Along for the adventure are Scott’s extended family, son Charlie (Eric Lloyd), ex-wife Laura Miller (Wendy Crewson), her husband, Neil Miller (Judge Reinhold) and their daughter, Lucy (Liliana Mumy) who, together with head elf Curtis (Spencer Breslin), foil Jack Frost’s crafty scheme to control the North Pole.”

You might be asking, “Isn’t it a little early for Christmas movies?” Probably so, but “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause” isn’t solely about Christmas either. The main theme is about relationships and how much more important they are than the massive number of tasks we feel we have to accomplish.

Scott Calvin as Santa Clause (Tim Allen), is having a hard season, and is afraid one whole continent of children won’t get their presents this year. The sleigh needs repairs, the elves are behind in their production of toys, Santa hasn’t had time to check his list twice, and Mrs. C. (Elizabeth Mitchell) is pregnant with a due date of Christmas Eve. In the middle of all this, the legendary figure council (Mother Nature, Father Time, and others) has scheduled an emergency meeting to discuss disciplinary action against Jack Frost (Martin Short) for trying to upstage Santa Clause.

Jack begs for mercy and is granted mentorship under Santa, which proves to be the undoing of Christmas. Jack discovers the secret of how he can take Scott’s place as Santa and connives his way into the position. Scott, on the other hand, takes on the life he would have lived had he never become the head elf.

As he works to save Christmas, Scott realizes he failed to show love and compassion to his family. These should really matter most. He has to face the fact that he publicly treated Neil (Judge Reinhold) with disrespect in front of Charlie, and come to understand what negative consequences that attitude produces. He also comprehends that his lack of attention for his wife put a wedge between them. The only way for that to be fixed was to be completely honest and open, and willingly confess his love.

There is a moderate amount of slapstick between Jack and Santa during the conflict, and a little bit of toilet humor about reindeer passing gas. A couple posterior jokes are tossed in a couple places, but they are both non-sexual in nature. Other than these things, there is no sex/nudity or obscene language, and very little else anyone would find offensive. The movie does take quite a while to reach the conflict, but once that point is reached there is enough excitement to involve the audience.

While “The Santa Clause 3” contains Biblical morality in places, it isn’t a Christian movie. Santa Clause is emphasized as the reason for Christmas instead of the Christ child. Christian parents may want to talk with their children about Jesus being the real reason for the season either before or after the movie.

All in all, I really enjoyed “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause,” and feel that most others will, too. If you liked the first two installments, you’ll probably like this one as well.

Violence: Mild / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None

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Viewer Comments
Positive—Our family really enjoyed this movie! True, it does not mention the true meaning of Christmas, however we chose to discuss this with our children before viewing the film. We all loved the delightful imaginery of the north pole and the funny villain, Jack Frost. I appreciated the good morals to the story, and it was very nice that Jack Frost was punished for his repeated bad behavior by having his heart melted by love which turned him nice! We thought it was a wonderful departure to spend the afternoon in a make-believe place with our children. So many movies focus on the real and now, this was a nice change. With a G-rating, I encourage you to see it with the whole family!
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Becky Derzinski, age 39
Positive—The movie is just a good, clean movie. There are parts that are a bit goofey, such as the sped-up footage of Mrs. Claus going to the delivery room, but then again… it’s a kid’s movie… about Santa Clause. Scott gets to do something a lot of people wish they could do, go back in the past, remember the future, and then being able to correct his mistakes. This film was not as good as the first two, but just clean, family fun, nonetheless.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 3½
—Terry, age 41
Positive—We took our boys ages 11 and 8 to see this movie and we all enjoyed it very much. We are very selective about the movies we let our boys watch, and we were not disappointed in this movie. We just thought it was a fun family movie, and there was nothing that made my husband and I uncomfortable. If you enjoyed the first two movies, you will enjoy the 3rd also!
My Ratings: Good / 4½
—Christina Leach, age 35
Positive—Hey, it’s Santa. This movie was a lot of fun to go to with the kids. It isn’t by any means something that will change your world. OK it’s just average… for a Santa Clause movie. But it was a lot of fun and it was completely acceptable to my Christian values. I would not have been ashamed to have Jesus there with us in the flesh. As for content, Martin Short is one of my favorites and is in his usual form. Everything pretty much makes sense in the film and it’s a nice message on comercialism (from a Santa Movie?).
My Ratings: Good / 3
—Dallas McKinley, age 34
Negative
Negative—I was disappointed in this movie. It has corny parts …such as the elves doing yoga to reduce stress. I loved the first two movies and couldn’t wait to see this one, but it definitely fell short of the other two. Don’t waste your money going to see it.
My Ratings: Average / 3
—Katelyn Glass, age 18
Negative—Saw this movie with my family and thought overall it didn’t measure up to the first one at all. It very much lacked in a good plot and seemed to lack depth to me. Much of it is very corny also and much of it is very strange and kind of out of there. But overall, I was glad that this film was quite clean and free from perverted sexual humor and jokes-except for the one scene that I can think about where Jack Frost and Santa Claus' wife’s mother have a little flirting scene. Language seemed very clean for the most part as well and it just seemed appropriate in the moral sense. Some of the lessons it gave were good and can relate to biblical principles. The commercial aspect of Christmas and just the overload of stuff and begging for all this stuff is put down in this movie. Also-it is more relationship oriented rather than event and focusing on things and busyness oriented. It does promote honesty and give good light t o being truthful. It put lots of emphasis on finding happiness and the true spirit of Christmas being in times with family. This is not quite on the mark in my opinion because it seemed to leave out the whole aspect of relationship with Christ and Him being the ultimate reason for Christmas. We can’t find our fulfillment in people but ultimately only from the Lord. However, He gives us people to live together with and share the walk with and we are not meant to go it alone. We should enjoy relationship and fellowship and times with friends and family-yet they are not the ultimate point-and I thought that that is what the movie lacked in the biggest part. It put the ultimate point and focus on warm times and time with friends and family whereas it is really on Christ-and love for Him above all else-along with love for family and friends.
My Ratings: Average / 5
—Skylar, age 19
Negative—This movie takes the story of santa way too far. Not only does santa have an evil villain, but he also has a very pregnant wife. What kind of image is this portyraying to our kids? My daughter who just turned 7 was almost in tears because santa clause and Mr.Frost were fighting. Santa’s inlaws were constantly bickering at eachother and setting an example to all of our children that it is okay to do things like this. …
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 2½
—Susan, age 43
Comments from young people
Neutral—This movie had some funny and cute parts. However, the beginning was a little slow and boring. Compared to the villain in the second “…Santa Clause” (the toy santa), Jack Frost was no match. I wonder why Bernard wasn’t in the movie? I liked him very much in the first two films, and he didn’t appear in this one. Curtis was the #1 elf, and my sister and I both agree that the role of Curtis acted more like Bernard than the original character in the second movie. Charlie wasn’t in the movie very much, and I have to say I was disappointed in that. But, for the good stuff, here is is: I loved the acting, and I loved the message about the importance of family relationships. No, the movie never mentions that Christmas is about Jesus’s birthday, but I did like the strong message on family. I liked the fact that the movie was clean and wholesome, and there was no cussing, violence, or other inappropriate stuff of all sorts. That is the way Hollywood is supposed to make movies!! Good, clean family entertainment. Though not as good as the two other Santa Clause movies, this is still a nice holiday film for the whole family to see.
My Ratings: Good / 3½
—Sarah, age 16
Neutral—This movie was only okay; it had its funny parts, but was pretty boring at times. The first two movies were better, in my mind, although they did not have as much positive stuff in them as this one did. If you’re looking for a clean movie that the whole family can see, than I recommend “Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.”
My Ratings: Good / 3½
—Anthony, age 11
Positive—My mom took me to go see this movie tonight, and we both loved it. It was very funny, yet corny, but it was worthwile. I recommend this movie to every family that loves a good laugh. The bloopers at the end are great, also. Go see “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Claus”!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Ellen, age 12
Positive—Santa Clause 3 was a pretty good movie. I still think the first one was the best, though. There is no bad language, and it is a great family film. There was a little bit of bathroom humor. But other than that it was good.
My Ratings: Good / 4
—Carolyn, age 13
Negative—I really think that this was a horrible movie, not just because of the under-developed humor, but because of the fact that it displayed a fake meaning of Christmas. Yes, there was a lot of pressure of being the last movie, but this is ridiculous! Build up our anticipation, then smash it to pieces? Not a very good thing. The costumes were… well decent enough, but I wouldn’t waste your time (and money) on this movie.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 2½
—Rachel, age 11