Reviewed by: Marcus Mann
Most of us have experienced the negative side-effects of shopping for Christmas gifts. From the parking-lot to the cash register, gift giving can become dangerously competitive. If the thought of shopping for the perfect present brings on a cold sweat, then you will be able to empathize with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest movie, “Jingle All The Way”.
Schwarzenegger plays a workaholic father (Howard Langston) who can’t find time for his family. The Christmas season seems to be his best chance to redeem himself, so he promises to buy his son the popular “Turbo Man” action figure. Little does he realize how difficult a task this will be. Finding one of these action figures brings out the worst in everyone, thus establishing a “take no prisoners,” “search and destroy” mentality in holiday shopping. Along the way, Howard meets his strongest competitor, Myron Larabee (played by Sinbad), a stressed-out postal worker who is every bit as determined as Howard to find Turbo Man.
This popular film has been advertised as a Christmas movie for the entire family, but it is not. Although there are some humorous parts, it is littered with obscenities, alcohol consumption, and sexual innuendo. One particularly disturbing aspect of the plot concerns the part played by Phil Hartman (Ted Maltit), the divorced neighbor who tries to seduce all of the married wives in their community. This aspect of the movie was not essential to the plot and produced much of the inappropriate material.
Probably the most disturbing aspect, however, is that the film does little to try to combat the commercial nature of Christmas, never alluding to the importance of Christ (or even love) for a meaningful holiday.
Don’t waste your time or money on this film. If you would like to see a great Christmas movie for the entire family, purchase one of the episodes from the popular VEGGIE TALES video series—“The Toy that Saved Christmas”.