I thought that I had seen a lot of good Christmas movies, and maybe some bad Christmas movies. But when I saw that Netflix had a new Christmas movie, I had no idea what to think. So I got on my laptop, put on Netflix and put on The Christmas Chronicles.
It’s about this family, the Pierces in Massachusetts. They have loved Christmas as much as any family could, especially the dad. But when their Dad, a firefighter, dies while rescuing some people, the kids, Teddy and Kate, start to drift apart from each other.
Come Christmas Eve 2018, Mrs. Pierce has to cover for a coworker, forcing Teddy and Kate to be home alone for Christmas. When Kate thinks she sees Santa on a recording of last year’s Christmas, she does what any kid would do: stay up and try to see Santa. I tried doing it as a kid, and I know plenty of other people did.
Not only do Kate and Teddy see Santa, though, but they also manage to sneak aboard his sleigh. Then they cause it to crash, the sack to fly off, and the Reindeer to scatter in Chicago. What’s worse, without any of these things, Santa can’t do his job. And when he can’t do his job, bad things happen. As Santa, puts it, the Dark Ages and all the rotten stuff that came with it. So it’s up to Teddy and Kate to help Santa save Christmas while also conveniently restoring their bond as siblings.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the movie’s version of Santa, played by Kurt Russell. I loved Kurt Russell as Santa. Unlike the way he’s normally portrayed in pop culture, this Santa is of reasonable weight and is a wise-cracking, savvy toy-maker. It’s hard to describe, but if I had to explain it, I’d say that Kurt Russell makes Santa seem more… human. As in he’s not always so jolly. He can be sarcastic, energetic, happy, charismatic. He’s very charismatic. At one point in the film, when he lands in jail (don’t ask), he leads the inmates in a jazz rendition of “Santa Claus Is Back in Town”. It’s amazing! He does refuse to go “ho ho ho”, though, because he says that’s a myth. Apparently along with him being fat. In short, I love Kurt Russell as Santa.
And the elves! They are like the Gremlins crossed with the Minions from Despicable Me. They are cute, they are mischievous, and you will either love them or hate them.
Lastly, we have the kids, Teddy and Kate Pierce. At the start, it was shown that they both have some problems. More like Teddy has problems. Ever since his dad died, he’s been falling in with the wrong crowd. Kate follows him at one point early on in the film, and sees him steal a car with some other teenagers! The worst part is that that is never actually resolved. His night before Christmas experience sets him back on the right path, but he never actually tells his mom of what he did or makes any amends for it. That seems like lazy writing.
I’d talk more about what happens, but I don’t want to spoil the ending. I liked this movie, and if you have Netflix, I urge you to watch it. It’s a pretty good Christmas movie with a new spin on Santa. Kurt Russell became my second favorite Santa of all time after watching this. The first is Ed Asner. Happy holidays!