The Christmas Chronicles 2
The Christmas Chronicles 2 (titled The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two onscreen) is a 2020 American Christmas comedy film directed and produced by Chris Columbus, who wrote the screenplay with Matt Lieberman. It is the second installment in the The Christmas Chronicles film series. A sequel to the 2018 film The Christmas Chronicles, it features Kurt Russell reprising his role as Santa Claus. Also reprising their roles are Goldie Hawn, Darby Camp, Judah Lewis, and Kimberly Williams-Paisley, with new cast members Julian Dennison, Jahzir Bruno, Tyrese Gibson, Sunny Suljic, Darlene Love, and Malcolm McDowell. The film had a limited theatrical release prior to beginning to stream on Netflix on November 25, 2020.
2 years after the evens of the first film, Kate Pierce and Jack Booker are transported back to the North Pole after falling into the hands of Belsnickel. After being rescused by Santa Claus, the 2 must reunite with him to save Christmas before it gets ruined by Belsnickel.
- Like its predeccesor, the film is nothing but yet another typical and generic "save Christmas!" story that has been done so many times (and maybe even better). In fact, the entire movie is filled with cliches and unoriginality and feels like it was rushed just so kids stuck at home during the pandemic would have something to watch (to add insult to injury, despite being barely longer than the first film, it feels way too short).
- Not to mention, the fact that this was released when the controversy surrounding another Netflix film, Cuties, was still strong and people were still cancelling their subscriptions, hurts the film.
- We're introduced to some new characters, specifically Jack Booker and his father. Jack Booker replaces Kate's brother, Teddy Pierce, as Kate's sidekick for the film, except he has no character value. He's constantly the annoying positive one that never changes at all. He even also believes in Santa, which barely effects him once he meets him.
- There's also a villain, unlike the first film, who happens to be the generic "castaway" villain and only wants to destroy Santa's Village because he's mad at Santa.
- Terrible acting, save for Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, although especially for Julian Dennison (known for playing Firefist in Deadpool 2), since he sounds very monotone and bored out of his mind.
- The Elves are massive rip-offs of both the Minions from Illumination and the foreign Trolls from Trolls: World Tour since they only serve a sub-plot where Belsnickel's sidekick elf uses blue powder (which is just the elf equivelent of crack cocaine) and makes the elves insane, only for Jack to go find a berry to make red powder to cure them.
- As for the Minions, they both share very similar behavior, since they only serve as servants for the Claus couple (particularly Santa) and speak in a near-Gibberish language (possibly simular to Minonese). They also appear to have the "cute" and "furry" look just for the sake of this movie being targerted towards children. Another point is when they become insane, which is similar in Despicable Me 2 where the Minions turn evil when given a purple serum.
- As for the foreign Trolls, the film tries to experiment with them, going as far as to create a new tribe of elves called the Forest Elves. Although they do serve some elements for the plot, it's kinda pointless and there could've been really other ways that the plot could advance without them. If anything, the Forest Elves only exist for the sake of being a cute childrens' movie.
- The CGI and special effects are absolutely awful, as it all looks like it was made from the early 2000s, and compared to other movies like Hellboy or the live-action Scooby-Doo movie. The aformentioned elves are actually ugly and a bit nightmarish to look at.
- The film introduces some of the dumbest information about the elves. According to a story Mrs. Claus reads to the kids, there is an Elf code which includes 5 strikes all involving naughty behavior, and if they break the Elf code, they get cursed, which is literally an elf turning into a human (and the irony is, elves were first hunted by humans), and is proven by Belsnickel, the villain. But, if they just believe, they turn back to an elf, again, proven by Belsnickel in the end. In a nutshell, it literally has the urge to shoehorn the "believe in yourself" message.
- Painfully unfunny humor relying on puns and Christmas pop culture references. The biggest offenders is Santa's "Holy Jingle Bells!" shout, the theater in Santa's Village playing Elf for free, and the same time having elves skate around an ice rink similar to the beginning of A Charlie Brown Christmas.
- There's literally a musical number that serves absolutely nothing to the plot, and the only reason it happens is because Santa wants to cheer up all the people in an airport (yes, literally) so he starts making people sing and dance around, which is really cringeworthy since the song itself is really bad.
- Despite being predictable, the ending is actually pretty good, since Belsnickel does revert back to an elf and reunites with Santa.
- Another heartwarming moment is when Kate finally meets his dad as a kid in 1990, with the exception of the aformentioned musical number.
- Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn put on their best performances as the Claus couple.
- Decent score.
The Christmas Chronicles 2 received mixed reviews from critics and audiences, earning a 72% on Rotten Tomatoes, claiming it was inferior to the original. Audiences gave it mainly negative reactions, with a 52% audience score on said website, as well as a 6 on IMDb. It also has a 51 on Metacritic.