Film Review: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

Posted in Reviews on December, 14 2006 6:17 PM

Starring: Tim Allen, Martin Short, Alan Arkin
Cert: U
Released: 24th November 2006

Jack Frost (Short) is fed up playing second fiddle to Santa (Allen) during the winter period so devises a scheme to swap places. It is possible for Scott (Santa (Allen)) to never have been Santa if he wishes it so while holding his special snow globe.

In the meantime Santa has invited his ex-wife, her husband and child to the North Pole to celebrate Christmas with him and his heavily pregnant wife. Also coming are her parents, still in the dark about their son-in-law's alter ego and slightly put out that their daughter has been removed from their lives.

Amidst family bickering and sabotage, Jack's plan is carried out and he goes back in time to that fateful Christmas Eve outside Scott's house and dons the red coat.

The past twelve years change and now Scott has to try to get his old life back again.

Tim Allen has sold his soul to Disney sycophancy and humour-light, inoffensive, mediocre films. There's not much to be said about The Santa Clause 3 apart from it is everything you would expect it to be. That's not necessarily a bad or a good thing.

Aside from the presence of Alan Arkin it seems to be cast of men who used to be quite funny a long time ago. Allen, Short and Judge Reinhold had, at one time, fairly credible careers. Add to them a plethora of chummy cameos and I feel like an uncomfortable guest at a family reunion. The end credits bolster this emotion as I watch the cast have a very amusing time in the outtakes which just aren't that funny.

Kids up to a certain age should enjoy it. After all, it's about Santa and has a fair degree of slapstick in it. However, the storyline is a bit convoluted for the young 'uns to comprehend. You try explaining time travel to a 6-year-old.

As for the story itself, the main point of Jack becoming Santa is almost an aside making it unworthy of the effort they went to achieve it.

My other gripe is a poor production value. When Jack turns the North Pole into a theme park is one of the crappiest I have ever seen and would have had my kids crying in disappointment. Heck, my daughter's school's assembly hall is better decked out at Christmas time than that place. I think it's a sad day when Disney starts getting cheap - moneywise, that is, rather than qualitative.

Not so much the coal in the bottom of your stocking but certainly no PSP. More like a satsuma, it's okay but you wouldn't miss it if it hadn't been there.


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