Right, listen. I won’t hear a bad word about this movie. I just won’t. It’s getting some really shitty reviews, but it’s pure joy in my book. Here’s why.
The Christmas Chronicles: Part 2 takes place pretty much exactly a year after the previous movie ended. Played by mini-superstar Darby Camp (Big Little Lies), ”True Believer” Kate returns, and she is reluctantly spending Christmas on a Caribbean island with her mother (Kimberley Williams-Paisley from The Christmas Train – ha!) and her new boyfriend. Kate attempts to escape the island and fly home alone, but is kidnapped by the brilliant Julian Dennison (Hunt for the Wilderpeople) as Belsnickel and ends up in the North Pole. She soon realises that there are some evil forces at play at Santa’s Christmas Village who seek to destroy it. It’s now down to her (and her annoying step-brother) to save Christmas.
Let me preface this by saying that I was not a huge fan of The Christmas Chronicles. I mean, it was okay. But nothing special. However, I have to admit, this one took me by surprise. Not only is it far and away the best Christmas movie I’ve watched so far this year, it’s infinitely better than its predecessor.
Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell continue to be the best couple in Hollywood and the only people who could convincingly play Santa and Mrs Clause if you ask me. Julian Dennison (🎵 RICKY BAKER 🎵 AH AH 🎵 RICKY BAKER 🎵) makes for a brilliant villain too, but there are some questionable performances from the children. Can’t win them all, I guess, and kids in film are always hit and miss. Darby Camp does as well as she possibly can, but the others are a little iffy here and there.
Before starting the movie, I took a quick peak at who the director was. To my surprise, I found that Chris Columbus (Harry Potter, Home Alone) was the man behind it. The CGI and special effects in The Christmas Chronicles 2 are actually excellent. The elves are adorable, funny and entertaining, and the creation of the Christmas village is just magical. There’s no other word for it. With Columbus’ experience in creating original worlds such as these, it all becomes evident pretty quickly why he was asked to direct this.
A movie about giving, family, loyalty acceptance, and team work. What could be more Christmassy than that? Though these themes may seem pretty standard, the plot here isn’t glaringly obvious, which was very welcome. The incorporation of factors like the Star Of Bethlehem and an airport musical number made it stand out above the rest.
I’ll admit that I was sceptical about the run time, which is almost two hours in total. Thankfully, it felt much shorter. Everything was so fun and original that it ended up feeling much shorter than it was.
I loved it and I’m not ashamed.
The Christmas Chronicles: Part 2 is available to stream on Netflix in the UK.
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