Film Reviews

The Christmas Chronicles (2018)

Starring: Kurt Russell, Darby Camp, Judah Lewis, Goldie Hawn, 

Director: Clay Kaytis

Since their father died, Christmas hasn’t been the same for the Pierce family. But when Teddy and Kate are left alone on Christmas Eve, their plan to try to capture Santa Claus on camera leads them on a wild adventure to help Santa save Christmas. 

Netflix films have become truly big budget affairs. They really have come a long way from a streaming service to producing some really remarkable and high budget films and TV series, upsetting the major studios on the way. 

In this film, they managed to get Kurt Russell to play Santa, and although at first this may seem like an odd casting choice, it actually works really well. He strikes just the right gruff but caring, silver haired and adventurous tone. And honestly, as a Kurt Russell fan from childhood, for me he was the main reason to watch this film. 

On the whole, the film tries to have a bit of everything, and it’s a big old cheesey mish-mash. The two kids do pretty well as children coming to terms with their loss and growing through the magic of Christmas. They feel fairly realistic and likable, and not overly cute. They are the thread that runs through the film, following the plot as car chases, explosions, jailhouse song numbers, and animated elves and more are thrown at the audience. Every now and then, I had to ask myself, what am I watching? It’s a bit like a Christmas variety show, with a bit of everything, rather than a film that tells a strong story or has a message, for example. 

I can’t see it becoming a Christmas classic that I’ll watch again year after year and so often it felt like the only thing holding it all together was Kurt Russell. He’s really having a good time in this film. But all of that said, I had fun watching this and I’m glad I saw it. It’s a bit sweet, a bit funny, very Christmassy and has a bit of spectacle too. And I liked this version of Santa.  

See It If: I watched it for Kurt Russell, and I it was fun. It’s a family film, so if you love Christmas films or have kids you need to keep entertained, this is a good choice. 

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