Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Santa Clause (Josh Pasquin, 1994) Review

Continuing with Christmas season, we looked at a film that had one of, if not, the best Santa Claus in any film in the form of Douglas Seale in Ernest Saves Christmas so let's look at a film that has a kind of unlikely person to play Santa: Tim Allen. Buzz Lightyear himself takes to the sleigh in a film with a pun in the title...I don't even know what to make of that...

Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is a disgruntled single father whose life changes completely when he accidentally kills Santa Claus. Donning the iconic clothing, Scott takes it upon himself to finish the job only to find himself taken to the North Pole where he is officially inducted as Santa Claus, whether he likes it or not. His son Charlie () tries to convince everyone that his father really is Santa Claus however this only worsens the relationship between Scott and his ex-wife Laura (Wendy Crewson).

This is definelty one of those Christmas films I watch every year. Sure that doesn't mean it's that good but it is good enough to watch year after year. The charm of it comes down to Tim Allen. While bad Santas are becoming more popular, I feel that Tim Allen was the first (well, after A Christmas Story) but since the whole film is centred on him, it does do a good job of showing his progression as Santa Claus. While Tim Allen is memorable, the other actors are pretty forgettable (except maybe David Krumholtz and Peter Boyle).

What is good, however, is the imagery. The set pieces, specifically in Santa's Workshop, are really impressive and just fascinating to look at. Even the imagery of the real world is nice. The scene where Scott enters the houses when delivering presents looks really nice and definitely captures the look of Christmas. Sure the plot is a bit predictable and a bit bland and, yes, that is a big flaw but that doesn't stop this from being a annual viewing for me.

The Santa Clause has it's flaws and feels a bit clunky at times as a result of a basic story and unmemorable actors but the great lead with Tim Allen and nice iconography makes for a Christmas classic. Not the strongest classic, mind you, but still worthy of a watch this Christmas. I guess Christmas is time of no movie shame considering that I watch Jingle all the well.

While Tim Allen is good in the role and has very nice iconography, everyone else is a bit bland the story is pretty basic. Still a Christmas classic though.

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