World News – CA – « The Christmas Chronicles 2 » Review: Netflix’s Lifeless Holiday Sequel Captures Season’s Displeasure


. .

Chris Columbus has forgotten how to make satisfying family movies more than most people will ever know, and nothing will ever change the fact that « Home Alone, » « Mrs.. . Doubtfire ”and“ Adventures in Babysitting ”have done more to shape the millennial identity (or at least the BuzzFeed tests on it) than historians will ever officially recognize. With the chintzy but fundamental first two films in the « Harry Potter » franchise, it could be argued that Columbus also had a seismic impact on the next generation. We’re talking about a man whose cultural relevance somehow managed to outlast that of the other icon who shares his name, even though only one of them was responsible for “Bicentennial Man”. ”

And so it is downright bizarre to see Columbus returning to the director’s chair for a big vacation film that leaves no trace. A joyless climb to the North Pole that appears to have been made with all of the creative enthusiasm and holiday cheer of this video that you see in the jury’s waiting room. Even by the decidedly under « Irish » standards of Netflix’s signature Christmas content – a standard set by Columbus as the producer of « The Christmas Chronicles » in 2018 – the poorly packaged « The Christmas Chronicles 2 » feels like one last. tiny gift someone gave on the 24th. December bought at a gas station. By the time a bunch of Pikmin-like elves sloshes on spiked cocoa and starts singing “Who Let the Dogs Out,” it’s clear that children will only remember Columbus’ recent resentment of how soulless Christmas movies have become when they are resentful ever remember it.

Of course, cultural memory is not what it used to be. The first chapter of « The Christmas Chronicles » was streamed by every kid in America on the opening weekend, and started a Netflix tradition of Bonkers’ numbers showing without context, oversight, or clarity about what constitutes a « view ». And yet, despite its wild popularity, this chunky (if lovably humble) vacation classic doesn’t seem to have meaningfully invaded the collective unconscious, which is strange given that it was supposedly a hit on par with other 2018 blockbusters like « Black Panther. » « and » Avengers: Infinity War « . ”

People may remember that Kurt Russell was a surprisingly perfect Santa Claus – who revived the character as a detached, goal-oriented sweetheart who drives a sleigh that looks like a Star Wars speeder – but things get a little blurry afterward. The funniest thing about « The Christmas Chronicles 2 » might be that the movie assumes everyone will remember what happened in the first one.

Of course, this film about the magic of believing in Christmas isn’t exactly « Bleak House, » and Columbus’ script (co-written with Matt Lieberman) is a lot easier to follow than interest. After losing their dad a few years ago and spending a wild night with Santa Claus, 12-year-old Kate Pierce and older brother Teddy (Darby Camp and Judah Lewis repeating their roles) have grown into some pretty normal kids ;; Kate could be one of the few tweens who still have letters to St. . Nick, but at least she knows that he will actually read it.

Her latest wish: For her widowed mother not to marry her kind new boyfriend (Tyrese Gibson, who tragically does not play herself in a cameo that smells of huge energy reading lines from cue cards). Things come to a head during the Christmas break in Aruba, when Darby is overwhelmed by all the changes in her family life. Her pubescent brother is just about to watch a casual beach girl who gets no lines, her lovingly drunk mother threatens to “replace” her father, and the only person willing to hang out with Darby is her future stepbrother Jack (Jazhir Bruno), a pipsqueak whose entire personality can be described as « allergic ». « Holidays are so ingrained in tradition that even the smallest adjustments can feel like catastrophic change, and poor Darby just doesn’t handle it well.

So when a fearful teenager played by Hunt for the Wilderpeople star Julian Dennison shows up and uses Darby as Santa bait, she’s all too happy to do so. Bad news: It turns out that Dennison is indeed a fallen elf named The Belsnickel, and he plans to steal the Star of Bethlehem on the giant tree in front of Santa’s workshop, thereby breaking down the temporal veil that prevents the Time goes by at the North Pole, Christmas ends forever. (In case you were wondering what the aurora borealis really is, now you know. ) « The Christmas Chronicles » was a grounded fairy tale that started with a long chant of « Santa Claus Is Back in Town! » in the drunken tank of a police station in Lowell, MA; « The Christmas Chronicles 2 » sucks us through a « Sliders » -like wormhole for the first 10 minutes.

The wheels really do detach from the wagon (or the reindeer detached from the sled?) once the action has settled in the Snow Globe of the North Pole, a sprawling and festive set that reflects the work of the brilliant craftsmen who built it and at the same time exuded the warmth and vitality of a crowded Christmas business. The locations, like almost everything else in this film, muddle the hustle and bustle of excitement as Santa’s neighborhood is a cornucopia of clichés that doesn’t look like it’s been since Jan.. 700 years there, but it seems like it was hastily pieced together from bad studio notes. When Darby walks past a movie theater showing « Elf », your biggest Christmas wish is for her to go inside (it’s all too easy to imagine a near future where Netflix allows subscribers to click on the marquee and join one to move better movie).

As teased in the final moments of the first episode, the big catch of this sequel is that Goldie Hawn Mrs. . Clause introduced for the first time since “Overboard. « But Hawn doesn’t seem to be part of the excitement that the reunion is supposed to create, as she understandably tells St. . Nick’s wife with the boredom of someone trapped in a marriage for nearly two millennia. It doesn’t help that The Christmas Chronicles 2 has no interest in Mrs.. . Clause’s gilded cage to complicate his story of the natural beauty of change as the flawed glimpses of Santa’s marriage are suffocated under a blanket of platitudes with Hallmark maps and CGI with Hallmark channel.

Russell seems at least still enjoying his role – the actor compares playing Santa to playing King Lear in the film’s press releases, and the delicate growl of his performance suggests he wasn’t kidding – but he is often relegated to the background in favor of Minion-like elf gimmicks and talked extensively about how Christmas means friendship or whatever. As in the original film, there is exactly one moment in “The Christmas Chronicles 2” when the ghost comes to life and it feels like someone is actually having fun on the set: a big old music number, this time in a snow-covered airport terminal and with one great support from the great Darlene Love.

Russell’s singing voice … well, that’s what Kurt Russell’s singing voice is supposed to sound like, and suddenly everything we have always loved about the actor – especially his clownish manly charm and his refusal to take himself too seriously – clicks into place. But instead of leaning into the Berkeley Busby and daring viewers to put their phones down for a second, Columbus frames the sequence with time travel malarkey and cuts it off with an even emptier spectacle.

Yes, it is important that people celebrate the blessings they still have and learn to appreciate those they might find along the way, but The Christmas Chronicles 2 – so typical of holiday dishes in the world Streaming Era – is more compelling than a reminder that sometimes we are entitled to lament what we have lost. After all, there’s nothing like watching a bad Christmas movie about the value of hanging out with the people you love to wish you just did that instead.

« The Christmas Chronicles 2 » is now playing in theaters. From Wednesday the 25th. November, streamed on Netflix.

With new films opening in theaters during the COVID-19 pandemic, IndieWire will continue to review them whenever possible. We encourage readers to follow the safety precautions of the CDC and health authorities. In addition, our reporting will offer alternative display options as they become available.

Sign up: Stay up to date with the latest movie and TV news! Sign up for our e-mail newsletter here.

This article relates to: Film, Reviews and tagged Kurt Russell, Netflix, Reviews, The Christmas Chronicles 2

Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Netflix

World News – CA – « The Christmas Chronicles 2 » Review: Netflix ‘sequel « Lifeless Holiday » captures the displeasure of the season


Donnez votre avis et abonnez-vous pour plus d’infos

Vidéo du jour: