As somebody who looks for originality in nearly every aspect of life, I go into Christmas movies with a great deal of hesitation. 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) is 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. However, he delivers the affectionate and caring Father Christmas traits that we would want in any actor depicting the man we put our hopes in as little children.
However, 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 of 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 am not the target audience (likely young families)? But I am writing on behalf of all who seek a good movie, and there are moments when we will get excited when a child asks to watch a certain movie with them, and there are plenty of family-oriented movies that us adults will watch on our own initiative. But for The Christmas Chronicles 2, all I can say is that it merits an “Eh, it’s the holiday season and I need to pass the time.”