The Christmas Chronicles is Netflix big push for this years Christmas movie crown, something that we see less of at cinema these days, certainly of the live action variety. Subscribers will have found it difficult not to have seen it in their email, notifications and menu screens. Produced by Hollywood veteran Chris Columbus, director of the first two Harry Potter films and Home Alone and starring Kurt Russell, it certainly has some decent credentials.
Opening with a home video montage of Christmas’s in the home of Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy (Judah Lewis) we learn that their father has heroically died in the line of duty and that Teddy is going off the rails. When their mum has to do a last minute shift at the hospital Kate manages to persuade her brother to try to capture Santa on the family camcorder. What follows is a classic race to save Christmas story with the message to believe in yourself (and to some degree, that it’s ok to steal a car if it’s already stolen).
So far, so generic. But, Russell makes a great Santa. Sporting a leather coat and a great beard whilst driving fast (a sleigh and the aforementioned car) and even performing a song with Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul. Whilst kids watching will be treated to some slightly ropey CGI elves and cliche Christmas spirit the adults should at least be enjoying Russell’s take on Santa and a great cameo to finish with.
It’s not a Christmas classic but it’s certainly not a stinker either.