Sign up for our weekly newsletter
Green Light in the City

Film Review: The Christmas Chronicles - Part Two

15 December 20 words: Joanna Hoyes

Kurt Russell makes a merry return as the father of Christmas in this bonkers follow up to 2018’s The Christmas Chronicles.

The first Christmas Chronicles saw brother and sister duo, Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy (Judah Lewis) embroiled in a plot to save Christmas after Santa’s sleigh broke down, his magical hat was stolen and his reindeer went on the run. At some point, for reasons I can’t entirely recall, Santa ended up in a prison cell, reminiscent of scenes from The Santa Clause; why does Santa always end up in the clink? Santa and his cell mates - good name for a band - struck up an awesome rock n’ roll rendition of Santa Claus Is Back In Town to which the world had to ask itself: “Is it okay to find Santa sexy?”  

Hearts were a-flutter up and down the nation when a sequel was announced earlier this year, directed by Chris Columbus and released on Netflix at the end of November. This time around, cutie-pie Kate has turned into a sullen teenager who feels she’s been abandoned by her family during a holiday trip to Cancun so decides to head home alone (see what I did there). Chaos ensues when she and her lactose-intolerant friend, Jack, wind up in the North Pole in Santa’s Village. Russell’s real-life partner, Goldie Hawn - who enjoyed a sneaky cameo at the end of the first film - joins as a full cast member this year playing the warm-hearted, seriously glamorous Mrs Claus. Genius casting if you are fans of the 1987 movie Overboard where Russell and Hawn met, fell in love and have been together ever since. Lovely to see them back on screen together. 

It’s all snow and hot chocolate until a disgruntled former-elf-now-turned-human-teenager (don’t try to employ any logic for the duration of this film) called Belsnickel attempts to destroy Santa’s Village and therefore destroy Christmas: “Like, for this year?” asks Kate. “Like, forever” replies Mrs Claus. The kids and the Clauses must work together to save the season by travelling back in time to capture the power of the Star of Bethlehem, restore power to the village and give hope to millions of children across the world.

Stick it on Netflix for the kids whilst you do your online Christmas shop

Although it has good intentions, the second film doesn’t quite have the same spirit as the first one, despite Russell’s musical duet with Darlene Love being called The Spirit of Christmas which is the film’s highlight. The Christmas Chronicles was a novelty and although not a bona fide classic, it did have a believable magic to it that made it an enjoyable watch for the whole family. The second outing feels a bit forced with some pretty wooden acting from new cast members and it goes on for too long with a run time of just under two hours. 

Also, a word about the elves in these movies. They are little CGI creations which speak an indecipherable language called Elvish and they scare the crap out of me. They look and sound like festive Furbies with even more attitude and don’t really fit the overall jolly atmosphere of a Christmas movie in my bah-humble opinion. 

This is a movie for the kids who will likely love its insane plot and Disney-style humour. Stick it on Netflix for them whilst you do your online Christmas shop. Just allow your eye to wander back to the screen whenever Cute… I mean, Kurt Russell gets his sass on…

Did you know? The language, Elvish, which is spoken in both movies, was developed by David J. Peterson, a renowned language creator who also invented the languages used in Game of Thrones. He is also reportedly responsible for creating the language spoken in the upcoming blockbuster Dune, set for release in 2021.

The Christmas Chronicles 2 is available to stream on Netflix now

We have a favour to ask…

LeftLion is Nottingham’s meeting point for information about what’s going on in our city, from the established organisations to the grassroots. We want to keep what we do free to all to access, but increasingly we are relying on revenue from our readers to continue. Can you spare a few quid each month to support us?

Support LeftLion now