Kurt Russell In 'The Christmas Chronicles 2' Movie Review: Santa Claus's Overstuffed Sack
The Christmas Chronicles brought Santa Claus (Kurt Russell) to Chicago for a holiday adventure. If you like that, then you should enjoy the sequel spending a lot more time at the North Pole and in Santa’s world. Christmas Chronicles 2 is in the bigger, badder sequel mold, and even when it is blatant about it, the Christmas spirit is irresistible.
‘The Christmas Chronicles 2’ reunites Kurt Russell and Darby Camp
Remember that video Kate (Darby Camp) made during her night with Santa Claus? Santa kept it but in the beginning of Christmas Chronicles 2, the elf Speck has brought it to Belsnickel (Julian Dennisen), a disgruntled former elf setting up a rival operation on the South Pole. Meanwhile, Kate and Teddy (Judah Lewis) are on Christmas vacation in Cancun with their mom (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) and her new boyfriend, Bob (Tyrese Gibson).
Before long, Belsnickel sends Kate and Bob’s son Jack (Jahzir Bruno) to the North Pole, where Kate is a celebrity amongst the elves. Now they have to help Santa and Mrs. Claus (Goldie Hawn) stop Belsnickel from ruining Christmas.
Big themes of ‘Christmas Chronicles 2’
Christmas Chronicles 2 introduces complicated themes of family. It’s hard for Kate to understand that it’s not Bob vs. her father, but seeing her mother moving on makes her worry she’s erasing her father. Meanwhile, Santa and Mrs. Claus lament that they never had children of their own. Having Kate and Jack at the North Pole brings them joy, but it’s fleeting.
Belsnickel is the Angel Gabriel of the North Pole, or to put it in more cinematic terms, he’s Annakin Skywalker leaving the Jedi or Voldemort leaving Hogwarts. Belsnickel broke the elf code with his ego, lying, viciousness, envy and selfishness. He’s only two short of Se7en, but he’s the golden elf who betrayed everyone, and now his resentment is the greatest threat.
As such, Kate and Jack explore a lot more of the North Pole and learn about Elf mythology in Christmas Chronicles 2. Teddy stays behind in Cancun so he’s not along for the adventure this time, but Jack makes a great companion. Ultimately, Kate joins Santa on a sleigh chase and Jack has to help Mrs. Claus retrieve an item that will break Belsnickel’s curse on the elves.
Christmas Spirit over plot coherence
The plot of Christmas Chronicles 2 is a little more complicated than necessary. It takes Santa and Kate to a lot of different places and affords her closure on some of her issues. The themes of Santa and Mrs. Claus missing out on being real parents don’t really go anywhere, unfortunately, because those were poignant. They bring joy to all the kids in the world but it isn’t the same as being parents.
Nevertheless, that plot is so packed with Christmas spirit that it’s infectious. Kids will enjoy Mrs. Claus’s North Pole confections, and who can say no to a musical number between Russell and Darlene Love? The Christmas Chronicles 2 is now available on Netflix.
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