THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES would not have worked at all if Kurt Russell wasn’t in it. He completely carries the movie on his back and it the little cute one time watch that it is. Everything about it feels ripped off from other movies, it is basically if the last 15 minutes of Elf, fucked the last 15 minutes of The Santa Clause, and they had a baby that was stretch to an hour and 40 some odd minutes. It’s cheesy, has terrible CGI reindeer and elves, and the story is ho ho ho hum to the cliched degree. It barely makes it out alive, and again, it is all because of Kurt.
Kurt Russell is this generation’s John Wayne. He just oozes cool and you simply can’t take it away from him. He’s Snake Plissken dammit. And if you’ve read anything about him and his personal life, he is just an all around really good really nice person. And he actually seems like he is having fun making this movie. He’s now one of my favorite Santa’s, and if Netflix does end up making a sequel to this, that hopefully they get new writer and have a better story that matches his talents.
Tell me if this doesn’t sound familiar: A young girl and her older brother are missing their firefighter dad as this is their first Christmas without him, after it is revealed he died trying to save people in a burning building (I understand its supposed to be a family movie, but they could’ve tastefully shown him going to rescue people aka going to his death). The two siblings don’t get along anymore, but to try and have a little pretend fun (and the fact the girl saw a fast hand leaving a present on their couch a previous year of looking over Christmas Eve home movies), they set up a camera and hide to see if they can catch Santa Claus in the act. They do, and they somehow crash and fuck up his sleigh. For the world not to lose Christmas spirit, they have to find Santa’s missing hat that powers the sled, find the missing reindeer, and find Santa’s toy bag, bring it all together so Santa can get presents to all the good kids of the world, while also teaching the kids life lessons and helping them out after the loss of their father.
That just oozes cliche doesn’t it? The first works at first. Kurt Russell trying to convince adults and normal folk that he’s the real Santa Claus is fun and kind of funny, with Russell just completely chewing the scenery. But then the movie does something that is a huge no no. Without getting into too many spoilers, the movie splits the kids and Santa up, and Santa ends up more than half the movie in one particular set, when he should’ve been with the kids the entire time. Kurt Russell still hams it up even though he is still on this one set, and he even has a musical number, but I can’t forgive the screenwriters for doing this. Again, if there is a sequel, and their are kids involved in the story, Santa needs to tag along the entire time.
The film is 150% predictable and falls into almost every screen writing no no imaginable. But like I said, Kurt Russell made it one time watchable. He makes a very charming Santa Claus, and a surprise cameo that will surprise no one at the end put a little cherry on top of his performance for me. So yeah, if it is getting near Christmas on the weekend and your whole family is there with nothing to do, this might make a decent watch on the couch, everybody trying to get warm and snug, but as a re watchable over and over again Christmas classic, or even a short and sweet second visit, you might need to find a different chimney to jump into.