Elf (2003)

PG   |    |  Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Elf (2003) Poster

After discovering he is a human, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole decides to travel to New York City to locate his real father.


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12 December 2018 | Pjtaylor-96-138044
| Elf yourself.
'Elf (2003)' is a sweet, 'Christmas spirit'-soaked experience that's got just the right amount of edge. It's lead by the somewhat 'restrained' (in that he isn't swearing or getting sexual) yet brazen and unembarrassed Will Ferrell in perhaps his most iconic role. It's also backed-up by pretty much the pitch-perfect 'straight-man' and screen legend that is James Caan. The film is genuinely funny on a surprising number of occasions, while just generally being enjoyable the rest of the time, to boot. Where it falters slightly is in its third-act, where the much more interesting father-son stuff is sidelined - to the point that the 'all is lost moment' and its aftermath (including its initial rectifying and, even, the flick's ultimate denouement) are rushed so much that they feel fairly disingenuous - in favour of a more traditional, typically 'Christmassy' 'saving Santa' story which honestly feels out of place here. It's a real shame that the crux of the narrative is glossed over for this finale, especially considering that the focal relationship and its themes are actually really juicy stuff - in terms of both comedy and character (indeed, pretty much every major player comes full circle in terms of their arc). It's an entertaining experience, nevertheless, and a pop-culture staple, too. 7/10

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