Reviewed by: Bob Rossiter
|Featuring:||Tim Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd|
|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
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.