The Christmas Chronicles
Provided by Metacritic.com
What kind of Grinch would I be to berate a new cheesy holiday movie about two siblings going on a Christmas-related adventure in which, I repeat, Kurt Russell plays a hot Santa? Make some cocoa for the family, and spike yours if you have to, but remember what the holiday is about: watching mediocre, predictable movies with the people you love.
Los Angeles Times
Russell, he of the shaggy mane and those twinkly, crinkly eyes, digs into the classic role with a sleighful of energy, humor and gusto, deftly making the character his own with guidance from Matt Lieberman’s inventive, myth-bending script. His performance is a gas.
It’s as predictable as an Advent calendar, but thanks to Kurt Russell’s grizzly charms, The Christmas Chronicles at least gives us one of the movies’ best Santas yet.
The whole thing is out-and-out tinsel-dunked tat, but oddly honourable with it – the Christmas spirit might be just a few steps up from bathtub grade, but it still packs a kick.
The A.V. Club
Close inspection reveals that The Christmas Chronicles suffers from the same acute condition as one of Freddy’s or Jason’s lesser vehicles. The film doesn’t know how to get out of its own way and foreground what’s working, namely the dynamo of screen presence placed more prominently in the advertising than the feature itself.
The film Despite its weird flourishes, the film succumbs to the tropes and emotional contrivances of the family melodrama at its core.
Consequence of Sound
The Christmas Chronicles is a passable enough lark, and may well be on the upper end of the spectrum when it comes to modern cinematic Christmas fare.
The Christmas Chronicles keeps getting in its own way with a patched-together story, raggedy tone, thinly imagined characters, and weak humor (Santa explains that he doesn’t really say, “Ho Ho Ho” — that’s fake news).
With its saccharine score, saturated cinematography, and trite platitudes, the film is formulaic and forgettable except for Russell’s performance as the lovable legend.
Between the atrocious green-screen work, the blatant stock footage helicopter shots of city skylines and painfully obvious Toronto-for-America locations, you would be forgiven for thinking this movie was made in 1992.
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