The Santa Clause 2
Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) has been Santa Claus for the past eight years, and his loyal elves consider him the best Santa ever. But Santa's world is turned upside down when he's dealt a double whammy of bad news: not only has his son, Charlie (Eric Lloyd), landed on this year's naughty list, but if Scott doesn't marry by Christmas Eve - just a month away! - he'll stop being Santa forever.
Release Date: November 01, 2002
Runtime: 1 hr 44 min
Writer: Paul Rudnick, Don Rhymer, Cinco Paul, Ed Decter, Leo Benvenuti, Ken Daurio, John Strauss,
Director: Michael Lembeck
Producer: Richard Baker, James Miller, Jeffrey Silver, Rick Messina, Brian Reilly, William Wilson III, Robert Newmyer
Cast: Tim Allen, Kevin Pollak, Judge Reinhold, Jay Thomas, Michael Dorn, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd, Elizabeth Mitchell, David Krumholtz, Spencer Breslin, Aisha Tyler, Liliana Mumy, Danielle Woodman
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Given how many script revisions and production starts and stops it went through, "The Santa Clause 2" could have been a whole lot worse.
Which is not to say that this obligatory, "we're-only-doing-it-for-the-money" sequel to the 1994 box-office hit is anything close to a comedic gem. The film has a nearly terminal case of the cutes, and it's neither as funny nor as charming as it thinks it is. (Gassy reindeer? What were they thinking?)
Consequently, it's just the latest in a string of live-action comedy duds by the Disney folks. But again, there were a whole lot of reasons to believe the film would be even worse. At one point, the project was scrapped, just as "Coming Next Christmas" promos were playing in theaters. And then it underwent another years' worth of script rewrites.
Tim Allen reprises his role as the title character, Scott Calvin, who inherited the mantle of Kris Kringle when Santa fell off Calvin's roof. Though he took on the role reluctantly, Scott is now clearly having the time of his life bringing happiness to others. However, Scott's teenage son Charlie (Eric Lloyd) is having a hard time; he's even committing acts of vandalism at school.
So Scott has to return home to deal with Charlie and nonplussed principal Carol Newman (Elizabeth Mitchell). Meeting the beautiful school administrator proves fortuitous, since it turns out a clause in his Santa contract requires him to be married to continue
in that capacity.
Meanwhile, it's chaos back at the North Pole. Santa's right-hand men (Spencer Breslin and David Krumholtz) have created a look-alike toy to stand in for Santa (Allen in a dual role), and the plastic replica shows all the signs of becoming a tyrant.
To be fair, there are a couple of amusing bits, such as the fake Santa creating an army of toy soldiers to enforce his new mandates. But Michael Lembeck's direction is flat and the by-committee script is all over the place. (There are definite indications that certain characters and situations were supposed to give in different directions.)
However, one thing the film does have going for it is the chemistry between Allen and Mitchell, and their characters' romance is certainly the best thing here. And Allen does seem to be having fun playing the Evil Santa.
"The Santa Clause 2" is rated G but does contain some scenes of slapstick violence (a football game and "combat" of sorts) and some crude humor (including a reindeer flatulence gag). Running time: 98 minutes.
November 1st, 2002 · Details