THE STORY: Holiday magic mixes with comical chaos at the North Pole in THE SANTA CLAUSE 3. Tim Allen reprises his role of Scott Calvin — AKA Santa — as he juggles a full house of family and the mischievous Jack Frost (MARTIN SHORT), who is trying to take over the “big guy’s” holiday.
At the risk of giving away the secret location of the North Pole, Scott invites his in-laws (ANN-MARGRET & ALAN ARKIN) to share in the holiday festivities, and upcoming birth of baby Claus with expectant wife, Carol, — AKA Mrs. Claus — (ELIZABETH MITCHELL).
Along for the adventure are Scott’s extended family, son Charlie (ERIC LLOYD), ex-wife Laura Miller (WENDY CREWSON), her husband, Neil Miller (JUDGE REINHOLD) and their daughter, Lucy (LILIANA MUMY) who together with head elf Curtis (SPENCER BRESLIN), foil Jack Frost’s crafty scheme to control the North Pole.
THE REVIEW: The Santa Clause 2 wasn’t nearly as funny as the original The Santa Clause and The Santa Clause 3 hits theathers and it proves that sequels get worse with each successive movie. The sad thing is that The Santa Clause 3 isn’t necessarily a bad idea—it was a bad idea to throw in Jack Frost and his zany antics. As fun as Martin Short might be he can’t fix a plot that is lame as can be. If you want to set up the idea that there is an Escape Clause then it would have been more interesting if one of Santa’s elves tried to do something behind Santa’s back—maybe out of envy that the big guy gets all the love and attention. If someone at Disney wants me to write that movie they’ve got my number.
It’s a shame the cute and funny performances by many of the new characters got to waste. The Escape Clause tries to borrow from A Nightmare Before Christmas and throw sugary sweetness on the formula and that doesn’t work. What worked about A Nightmare Before Christmas was that it had that devilish side that added a completely different undertone to a Christmas movie than any we’ve ever seen before. There is also a touch of It’s A Wonderful Life thrown in for good measure—without James Stewart and the rest of the talent.
FRANKLY: Crude humor does make kids laugh. But so does someone falling down and breaking their arm. So what does that say about how easy it is to amuse our children? It’s a shame that The Santa Clause: The Escape Clause had to be thrown together in hopes of cheap laughs ruining a good franchise. The two previous The Santa Clause movies had been enjoyable. We can’t say the same about version three.
+ Charlie Craine