Santa Claus, played by Kurt Russell, comes to town in the Netflix Original holiday movie “The Christmas Chronicles.”
The movie features siblings Teddy and Kate Pierce, played by Judah Lewis and Darby Camp respectively, as they sneakily catch a ride on Santa’s sleigh and completely derail Christmas. The plot follows the characters as they deal with the reality of Santa and work to get Christmas back on track.
At first glance, I’d assumed this was a children’s movie; however, some of the material seemed more suited for an older audience. Teddy and Kate’s father had passed away years ago, and the movie does focus on their grieving process and coming to terms with what it means to celebrate a holiday without their loved one.
Russell shines in his role of Saint Nick, embodying a snarky Santa with witty one-liners.
There were a couple parts that pulled a shocked laugh from me just because of the lengths the movie took to distinguish itself from other Christmas movies. This is a modern holiday tale.
At one point Santa said, “I don’t go ho ho ho. That’s a myth. Fake news.” There’s also references to calling an Uber and a concerned restaurant patron calling the police about a possible AMBER alert situation.
Russell's rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Santa Claus is Back in Town” is a highlight of the movie. It’s definitely a song that kids will be begging their parents to play on repeat.
Overall, my initial expectations of a whimsical Christmas movie fell short. The best Christmas movies combine comedy with heartwarming stories. “The Christmas Chronicles” tries to balance both, but its forced intent on bringing a meaningful story doesn't quite pull it off.
“The Christmas Chronicles” is an entertaining movie to put on for younger cousins during the next seasonal party.