Reviewed by: Patty Moliterno
REVIEWS of other Christmas movies
|Featuring:||Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti (Santa Claus), Kevin Spacey, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Banks|
|Producer:||Paul Hitchcock, Jessie Nelson, David Dobkin|
|Distributor:||Warner Brothers Pictures|
“Everybody has that one relative who can’t help but cause problems over the holidays. Even Santa.”
When Nick Claus is born, his older brother Fred appears to love having a brother. As the two grow up, it becomes apparent that Fred is living in his saintly brother’s shadow. The final straw for Fred is when Nick chops down Fred’s favorite tree to use for Christmas. Fred’s animosity is fueled by his mother’s (played by Kathy Bates) constant comments about how perfect Nick is.
Nick (Paul Giamatti) grows up to be Santa Claus and lives at the North Pole. Fred (Vince Vaughn) is living in Chicago, has an on-again, off-again relationship with Wanda (Rachel Weisz), and is a repo-man always waiting to make his big business break. After not seeing his brother for years, Fred is arrested, and he finally calls on Nick to bail him out. Nick agrees, but with one condition. Fred must come to the North Pole and work for his brother. Meanwhile, Clyde (Kevin Spacey), an efficiency expert, has warned Santa that he is 3 strikes away from being shut down. Predictably, with Fred working at the North Pole, those three strikes pit the 2 brothers against each other.
OBJECTIONABLE MATERIAL: There is plenty of objectionable content in this movie. The movie begins with a Kathy Bates in labor giving birth to Nick. There are several times a-s-s is used, plenty of sexual innuendos, and constant fighting between Fred and elves, Fred and Santa, Fred and his girlfriend, and… the list is endless.
Fred makes a comment about a girl’s swim team, and he hopes that they are naughty. When Nick is born, his mother says “good lord.” There is a comment about an elf who has attached himself to Fred’s leg—“acting like an untrained dog”. The song “Beast of Burden” is played—“all I want is for you to make love to me.” Fred makes plenty of sexual references—getting the “sleigh off the ground,” etc.
“Hell” is used. Fred calls Nick fat boy several times. There are various other crude comments made, and comments that you don’t want your children repeating.
VIOLENCE: While there are plenty of movies that show worse violence, I sat in this movie and cringed. I certainly don’t want my 2 little boys believing that it is okay to ever repeat any of the scenes in this movie. A little girl kicks Fred. There is a chase involving Fred and Salvation Army Santas with it ending with all the Santa’s piled on top of Fred. Fred is jumped by Santa’s guards (elves in black). Fred gets in a physical fight with D.J. (the disc jockey elf). D.J. punches Fred, and Fred picks up D.J. and puts him in a cabinet. Fred tosses an elf and then jumps onto a group of elves. Fred and Santa fight. Santa kicks Fred. Fred and Nick have a snowball fight which turns physical. I could continue listing other instances, but I would take a full page to list them all.
There is no nudity, but Charlene (Santa’s assistant) wears low-cut tops and short skirts throughout the movie. In one scene, Fred and Willie, Santa’s head elf played by John Michael Higgins, are standing at urinals talking while they go.
There are other various scenes that may bother you, which include, but are not limited to: Clyde shredding letters to Santa from boys and girls, a boy steals Santa’s wallet, Santa gets fired, Fred says he is moving in with his girlfriend, Charlene and Willie kiss, and Wanda and Fred kiss. Fred sets up a kettle and rings a bell for his charity People Helping People. There are sumo wrestlers fighting in a background scene.
However, there are also some nicer scenes. Fred does realize that he has messed up and tries to right his wrongs, and he also forgives Nick. Fred makes the statement that there are no bad children, just children that are hurt, and confused. This causes Santa to rethink how he treats people. We know that Christmas is a time of celebration and hope, but ultimately it is a time of forgiveness. Without Jesus birth, we would not have had His death and resurrection to ultimately pay for our sins. Without that payment for our sins, we could not be forgiven.
Did my 5 year old laugh at this movie? Yes. Would he want to see it again? Yes. Did it have some redeeming qualities? Yes. Would I recommend this movie? NO. It is over the top and cheesy, but the continued kicking, punching, fighting and verbal insults were more than I would want to witness again. This is one Christmas movie we won’t repeat.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Minor