27th Nov2020

‘The Christmas Chronicles 2’ Review (Netflix)

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Darby Camp, Julian Dennison, Jahzir Bruno, Darlene Love, Tyrese Gibson, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Sunny Suljic | Written by Matt Lieberman, Chris Columbus | Directed by Chris Columbus

The first Christmas Chronicles movie released two years ago was a Netflix Original hit. A fantastic family Christmas movie that made you wonder why no-one had cast Kurt Russell as Santa Claus before. So it’s no surprise that a sequel was made a short time later, but would it be Lost in New York or Holiday Heist? The daughter from the last movie, Kate is now a moody teenager but is soon reunited with Santa when Belsnickel tries to steal Christmas.

The main cast are back for The Christmas Chronicles 2 but this time Goldie Hawn gets a bigger role as Mrs Claus, Jahzir Bruno comes in as Jack – another child to help Santa and Julian Dennision (Hunt For The Wilderpeople) is added as the villain Belsnickel. And with this the performances become a mixed bag. Kurt Russell is great once again as Saint Nick. He seems to be enjoying the role just as much as he did the first time round and I’d happily watch him play the role for ten more movies. Unfortunately, Goldie Hawn doesn’t fair quite so well as Mrs Claus and all too often shows an emotionless face, even with the interesting take on Santa’s wife which should have been much more entertaining. Dennison is much fun in his role and he does the best with what he’s got but he isn’t on screen for anywhere near enough time.

The villain not being in the movie enough is a small part of what this sequel does wrong because it seems to have so many small parts of stories that it forgets to have much of an actual storyline throughout and kind of loses itself at times. There is absolutely no need for the movie to be a little under two hours and there’s plenty of filler here that could have been taken away to fit in at somewhere around the hour and a half mark.

That said, there is plenty of fun to be had here. There’s a Nerf gun fight scene against evil elves that involves explosions that is almost as crazy as it sounds, there’s another musical number that while seems shoehorned it is still entertaining. There’s also a really heart-warming moment when Kate makes a friend in the airport to lift her Christmas spirit.

The Christmas Chronicles 2, for the most part, feels a bit more children orientated than the first film but in small doses goes a bit crazy with a Yule Cat and reindeers fighting, while Elves turn evil and start wielding chainsaws. Part 2 is bright, colourful, and of course very Christmassy but lacks the heart of the first movie and goes a bit too wild when trying to build its own franchise.

Director Chris Columbus might have made the best ever Christmas movie in Home Alone (and he has a small nod to that film when a Jack sends a knowing look directly down the camera lens) but with this sequel it’s more of a one-time watch. I’d still be interested in the franchise continuing but the writing needs to be a bit sharper and the tales need to be more focused. Maybe stick with the first film for your yearly watch.

*** 3/5

The Christmas Chronicles 2 is available to watch on Netflix now.


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