Snow 2: Brain Freeze is an ABC Family channel original holiday special, a TV sequel to the 2004 Christmas television film Snow. Directed by Mark Rosman, Snow 2 stars Thomas Cavanagh as Nick Snowden, reprising his role from the first film. He is Santa's successor, as his father, the original St. Nick, died and left the holiday job to his son. Ashley Williams also comes back for the sequel as Sandy, Nick's wife, who is a tad fed up with Nick's preoccupation with Christmas preparations. Nick steps out, only to be clunked on the head by a vicious trophy, and instead of worrying about Christmas, Nick is left to worry about figuring out who he is. Along his path, Nick meets up with a punk robber pre-teen (Alexander Conti) and his old rival Buck (Patrick Fabian). Buck comes up with a plan to use Nick's amnesia to his advantage by "helping" Sandy track down Nick - and Sandy just happens to be Buck's old fling. While Buck attempts to woo Sandy while hiding Nick, things work out on Sandy's behalf as Nick falls into the hands of an old man (Hal Williams) who knows Nick, and finally, Nick recovers his senses to save Christmas.
While it's not necessary to see the original Snow to understand this sequel, it would be helpful, as I was a bit lost through the beginning parts of the film as to what each character's relationship was. Once the viewer gets into the swing of things, though, it's all steady Christmas spirit from there. Tom Cavanagh brings out the Claus merriness in his character, jumping around and boneheadedly agreeing with everything everyone says. It can get a little annoying, but then again, who else could be believed to be Santa Claus but a merry, genuinely happy guy? Ashley Williams is also all smiles, which can be a bit frustrating when her character is supposed to be angry, but the film is obviously meant to bring joy and delight to the holiday.
The film reaches a lull through the middle half as there's not too much action to be taken to find Nick. Most of the plot is pretty easy to foresee, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The scenery is pretty great, emphasizing the snow ala the title and also bringing out those perfect fake Christmas decorations. Certain elements of Claus magic were creative, especially the bit about a special traveling mirror (although a little Harry Potter-ish) and a Santa Claus manual that comes with a private teacher.
Honestly, however, Snow 2 doesn't do much to change the Christmas movie plot as a whole. For these types of Christmas movies, there is always some problem about Santa not being able to get his act together by Christmas, and this one just uses amnesia as the excuse. The film's cute and humorous, but not altogether different from the other made-for-television Christmas fare that peppers the stations each Christmas. If not for the entertaining way that the film goes about its solution to the rising action, Snow 2 might go unnoticed. Even then, since I haven't seen the first, I don't know if a sequel is warranted for the original Snow. But even if Snow 2 does play it safe, it still succeeds at what it attempts, and for that, you can't really fault it.
Snow 2 does come off as a bit TOO cheery, where even the villain doesn't seem too evil, but if you're in the mood for a nice ol' good-vibes yuletide special, Snow 2 is the way to go - not overly thought-provoking, but thick enough to settle down to with a nice cup of hot cocoa or tea and whittle the blistery day away (which is basically what I did today).