September 17, 2021

The Movie Man: ‘The Christmas Chronicles 2’ Misses its Mark

Kevin Ganey is ‘The Movie Man.’

As somebody who looks for originality in nearly every aspect of life, I go into Christmas movies with a great deal of hesitation. And thus I approached The Christmas Chronicles 2.

My concern was justified.

Should anybody seek a Christmas-themed movie with an original take, The Christmas Chronicles 2 does not deliver … even for a sequel. With an abundance of unoriginal, rehashed story-elements, there are plenty of cringe-worthy cheesy moments to go around.

I originally looked forward to this installment, thinking it would be a flick that would be enjoyable in the end. That is, until I started watching it.

The movie depicts a disenchanted former elf named Belsnickel (played by Julian Dennison) hellbent on destroying Christmas, and once he appears to have the upper hand, our hero from the first Christmas Chronicles, Kate Pierce, must rise to the occasion again to save the holiday (one can already groan upon reading these details.)

Kurt Russell reprises his role of Santa Claus in the same manner as he did with the first installment. He defies the traditional depiction of St. Nick: overweight and jolly.

In these movies, the one visual detraction is his size, no longer overweight, but a slim and fit figure. He also is not happy and jolly, but rather a stud; bringing the cool vibes from Russell’s career defining action movies.

He delivers, however, the affectionate and caring Father Christmas traits that we would want in any actor depicting the man we on whom we pin our hopes as little children.

In contrast, the performance of Mrs. Claus (played by Russell’s real-life partner Goldie Hawn) does not deliver, appearing to lack the enthusiasm required for such a role. Russell’s run as Santa is probably the sole redeeming quality of this picture, in my opinion.

There are several appeasing action moments, usually involving Santa’s sled, but not every moment is spared the cheesiness (mainly seen in a sequence involving fighting off elves with a Nerf gun.) But I will concede there is a heartwarming moment or two.

Perhaps I am not taking into account that I am a cinephile and therefore not the target audience (which is most likely young families)?

But I am writing on behalf of all those who seek a good movie. There are moments when we will get excited when a child asks to watch a movie with us, and there are indeed plenty of family-oriented movies that we adults will watch on our own initiative.

But The Christmas Chronicles 2 does not fit either bill. All I can say it merits is an, “Eh, it’s the holiday season and I need to pass the time.”

About the Author: Though no longer a resident of Lyme, Kevin knows he can never sever his roots to the tree of his identity. When not attending to his job in Boston, he is committed to ensuring a better grasp of current (and past) releases of cinema to his home community as he strives to leave his own mark in the same field that has always been his guide to understanding life. If you enjoy his published reviews here on LymeLine.com, follow him on his new website at ‘The City of Cinema and read more of his unique insights into entertainment.

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