Movie Review: The Santa Clause 2
Eight long years after Tim Allen first ended the life of Santa Claus, the powers that be at Disney thought it would be wise to check in on him. Christmas money dries up rather quickly when you’re splashing cash on Home Improvement rerun rights and inevitably large steaks. The Santa Clause 2, then, provides a quick cash injection and fills the quota of being a Christmas movie. We return to Santa’s Sweatshop, to find another secondary clause to the role of Father Christmas. Allen must find himself a Mrs. Claus, a wife to help him run the factory. Other than for reasons of severe financial gain, I can think of no reason why Allen and company would return to this bizarre story with such horribly dense tangents.
Between the first and second film, our returning characters seem to have suffered some form of severe memory loss. Charlie Calvin (Eric Lloyd) no longer believes in Christmas, even though his father is the dictator of festivities. Scott Calvin (Allen) has begrudgingly accepted the running of this corporation. Everything else begins falling to the wayside, an awful supporting pair from David Krumholtz and Spencer Breslin sets the tone for the rest of this shallow Christmas horror show. A hint has been left for us in the title of The Santa Clause 2, a sequel of course means doubling everything on screen. What we should have feared, though, is a doubling of Allen roles. A robotic clone of Santa, looking somewhere between the great Burger King and the violently horrid caricatures of Spitting Image, spawns a horrifying antagonist.
Allen’s performance retains some of the erratic mannerisms of the first, but director Michael Lembeck struggles to contain the manic energy. Allen slams his head off of lockers, mounts reindeer and trades verbal blows with a headteacher. Beyond that, his appearances as a plastic-like robot horror show see him addicted to burning hot cocoa. At least it gives Allen an excuse for his robotic acting. We watch him go on dates, ‘desantifying’ as he goes, whatever that means. That’s a real word, no matter how much Microsoft Word protests its use.
Audiences everywhere should cower in fear. Santa Claus, the Eldrich beast of German folklore, has been consumed and assimilated into the system of Allen. Falling to pieces relatively quickly, Allen toils around in the disaster zone looking for something to cling onto. If it weren’t for his possession and starring role as an immortal deity, he’d flounder in harrowing nonsense. Somehow feeling, looking, and sounding worse than the first in the trilogy, The Santa Clause 2 is a Christmas abomination. Come in from the cold, settle in with the family, watch anything but this nauseating horror show of surprisingly slow quality.