Review: The Christmas Chronicles
So, how does he really do it? Santa is a magical man, but how does the magic work? In a cinematic landscape filled with time travel, magic, superheroes, sci-fi, and more, audiences are getting more interested in the “how.” The Christmas Chronicles, care of Netflix, is the tale of how two kids catch Santa in the act on Christmas Eve and work with him to save Christmas when their interruption throws his night of course. Starring Kurt Russell, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, and Oliver Hudson, Chronicles marks the streaming services first attempt at a true-to-form Christmas movie that is not just for kids.
Kurt Russell would never be in your average Christmas flick, so this subverted comedy fits him well. He takes his role of Santa honestly and sincerely, though Russell’s Santa is a little more direct and way cooler than previous cinematic Santas. He avoids the cliche approaches the character and allows him to have a more adult side, even when dealing with children, which makes him seem more real and much more fun to watch.
The story focuses on how Santa achieves his yearly adventure. Santa is able to blur passed the neighborhoods of the world to deliver gifts at a rapid pace. The sleigh sits just above the house until he needs to set-off to the next location. Brother and sister duo, Teddy and Kate, set themselves up to try to catch Santa with their old video camera. It works. They sneak into his sleigh and after surprising Santa mid-flight, all three come to a crash landing somewhere near Chicago. Now, they need to collect the loose reindeer, fix the sleigh and get back to delivering gifts as soon as possible. No Christmas movie is complete without some heart-string pulling family drama. Teddy and Kate lost their firefighter father (Hudson) recently and his love of Christmas was lost as the family struggles following his death. Yet, with some Christmas magic, Christmas is saved not only for the world at large, but Christmas spirit is restored to their family.
The Christmas sentiments of the film don’t read as insincere as emotional scenes are performed well and carry more than the generic Christmas messaging of Hallmark Christmas films. Yet, the best scene of the film is when Santa is arrested and finds himself starting a jailhouse rock band turning the proverbial Christmas song scene into memorable subversion. I told you this Santa was cool!
The Christmas Chronicles doesn’t disappoint if you are looking for a new Christmas film to watch this holiday season. Many of your Santa related “how does he do that?” questions will be answered while delivering on an adult-friendly family film.