The Christmas Chronicles is out just in time for… well, Christmas, and if you’re currently overdosing on festive films on Channel 5, and Sky’s dedicated Christmas movie channel, then why should you indulge in Netflix’s offering?
Kurt Russell is Santa Claus, duh! It’s obvious! How can you say no?
The plan is to catch Santa in the act as he goes from house to house… wait.. wha? He’s real? Yes, of course he is, and not only that, but it’s motherloving Snake Plissken!
After seeing the same family grow up over a 12-year period, it’s now the night before Christmas 2018 and, like all young siblings, Kate and Teddy are at each other’s throats, but things change when they get to meet Santa, and cause his sleigh to crash, so must make amends, which is handy as he needs their help to get Christmas back on track.
I also liked how Santa confirms he doesn’t say “Ho! Ho! Ho!” and that when people say he does, that’s “fake news!”
Oh, and if you’re wondering where you remember seeing Kimberly Williams (now Kimberly Williams-Paisley) as the children’s mother, Claire, before, she was Steve Martin’s daughter, and bride Annie, in 1991’s Father of the Bride, and don’t forget the sequel, Father of the Bride II… actually, DO forget it. It was awful.
The best scenes are when Kurt Russell is involved, but while he hangs about with Teddy, there’s also a separate, concurrent storyline with Kate that just had me wishing for more Kurt.
This is a very sweet film, and as an adult, I would say that it could be cut down to about 80 minutes in total, but it’ll keep young children quiet while the parents make dinner. It won’t win any awards for originality or high-tech special effects, but it’s fun and it makes for an engaging 104 minutes and will please any family over Christmas.
For the most part, it’s quite well-paced, too. Some non-comedy parts also reminded me of the style of Home Alone – getting across the feel of that film, but then it does have that film’s director, Chris Columbus, as a producer.
Hence, the way The Christmas Chronicles has been made, it’s not going to date any time soon so this does make for a timeless movie.
The Christmas Chronicles is released tomorrow on Netflix.
UPDATE – Nov 22nd: There’s one cast member I couldn’t name until today, as it’s the movie’s launch day, but while I won’t name them out loud, I’ve put them behind a spoiler header at the bottom of the cast list, but I seriously recommend you don’t check until you’ve watched the film!
Running time: 104 minutes
Released: November 22nd 2018
Director: Clay Kaytis
Producers: Michael Barnathan, Chris Columbus, David Guggenheim, Adam Kolbrenner, Mark Radcliffe
Screenplay: Matt Lieberman
Music: Christophe Beck
Santa Claus: Kurt Russell
Teddy Pierce: Judah Lewis
Kate Pierce: Darby Camp
Claire Pierce: Kimberly Williams-Paisley
Doug Pierce: Oliver Hudson
Wendy: Vella Lovell
Freddy: Jameson Kraemer
Min-Ju: Solla Park
3 Year Old Teddy: Jesse Gervasi
5 Year Old Teddy: David Kohlsmith
3 / 5 Year Old Kate: Kaitlyn Airdrie
8 / 10 Year Old Teddy: Jack Bona
Previously on DVDfever:
The Christmas Chronicles is a forthcoming Netflix movie with the one and only Kurt Russell (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2) as Santa Claus – or Father Christmas in some territories.
The film tells the story of sister and brother, Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy Pierce (Judah Lewis), whose Christmas Eve plan to catch Santa on camera turns into an unexpected journey that most kids could only dream about. After staking out his arrival, they sneak into his sleigh, cause it to crash and nearly derail Christmas. As their wild night unfolds, Kate and Teddy work together with Santa – as you’ve never seen him before – and his loyal Elves to save Christmas before it’s too late!
Director Clay Kaytis: “No one is better suited than Kurt Russell to bring our version of a rugged, charismatic, and hilarious Santa Claus to life. From our first meeting, he completely threw himself into this iconic role – and grew an impressive beard in the process. It has been a dream come true to work with Kurt in creating what I believe will be the new definition of Santa Claus for generations to come.”
Producer Chris Columbus (director of Home Alone): “Kurt is the definitive Santa Claus. Charismatic, tough when needed with a wicked sense of humour. We’re really excited for audiences to see his performance onscreen and hope The Christmas Chronicles becomes a timeless classic.”
The Christmas Chronicles premieres on November 22nd on Netflix, and this does look like great fun. The official website is here.
Check out the teaser below:
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.