Directed By: Michael Lembeck
Written By: Don Rhymer and Don Rhymer
Staring: Tim Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell, David Krumholtz, Eric Lloyd, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Spencer Breslin, Liliana Mumy, Kevin Pollack, Michael Dorn, Art LaFleur, Aisha Tyler, and Jay Thomas
Curtis, you’re 900-years-old, grow up! -Bernard
A follow up six years later seemed past the point of relevance but also inevitable. The charm and joy of the original Santa Clause carried on just as it has today, and upon the release of it’s sequel in 2002 I admit I was improperly enthused about the whole thing. I loved the character, loved the story, and thoroughly enjoyed the manner in which the story was told. I didn’t expect the magic of the first, and it’s true it didn’t repeat, but overall it’s a respectable movie that got a bit carried away at a few points, but still managed to capture some of the fun and magic of the first.
It was a clever plot, another “clause”, this one entitled the “Mrs.” Clause, so Santa has to find himself a wife by Christmas or he will lose all his magical powers and cease to be Santa Clause. In order to leave the North Pole he creates a “Toy” life size Santa in his place to run things and make sure that the children still get their toys but the elves don’t feel abandoned or panic at his predicament. The woman he falls for is the least likely option, but a very right one. How do you get married and tell that woman you’re Santa in less than thirty days?
Giving the story a romance was actually fun, especially with the former family tension left alone since it was resolved and unnecessary to rehash again. It had moments of true chemistry and the Christmas spirit was always present. The sleigh ride and the faculty party was probably the highlight of the movie. Of course in between all of the tender moments Tim Allen is always ever present with his natural sense of comedy. This one won’t have you laughing like the first, but it’s still abundant with chuckles.
The “Toy” Santa going all maniacal was a bit over the top for me. If it was a little bit more underplayed it would have been something more tangible as opposed to feeling forced and so exaggerated. Having a maniacal villain wasn’t necessary. Directer MichaelLembeck had plenty of other opportunities available to give the story another source of conflict. So the finale for myself was certainly anti-climatic and kind of took away from the magic it had built up to that point.
The progression of Charlies character as the son of Santa in adolescence was really disappointing as well. His acting out and the motivation behind it was pretty contrived and felt awkward in the story. However the welcome addition of Liliana Mumy as Lucy Miller, the half sister of Charlie. She was infectious, inspiring, and had the chemistry with Tim Allen that Charlie did in the original film. Her brief presence in the film gave it another level of enjoyment.
So The Santa Clause 2 wasn’t as great as the first, but it’s still a film to be enjoyed during the holiday season. The kids love it, I have fun with it, and it’s enjoyable on a more superficial level. Tim Allen will make you laugh and inspire the spirit of Santa and Christmas. The visual world of the North Pole is breath taking once again, and the mysticism of Christmas and it’s inspiration from imagination lives on in a very respectable sequel.