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THE MOVIE GUY — Santa rides again in Christmas Chronicles 2

The Christmas Chronicles 2

Netflix

Directed by Chris Columbus

Starring Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Darby Camp, Jahzir Bruno, Julian Dennison, Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Tyrese Gibson

Rated PG

 

3 Stars

 

 

Netflix released a charming Christmas movie two years ago that captivated families looking for a dose of good cheer and holiday magic.

The Christmas Chronicles was such a hit that the streaming service re-assembled the cast and crew for a sequel. The difference this time around is that The Christmas Chronicles 2 is not only being released on Netflix, but also can also see it at local movie theaters.

Right off the bat, let me say that The Christmas Chronicles 2 is not as good as the first film, but there is still a lot to enjoy here. Kate (Darby Camp) is back as a true believer young girl who teams up with her soon-to-be stepbrother, Jack (Jahzir Bruno) and Mr. and Mrs. Claus (Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn) in a madcap effort to save Christmas from a naughty elf named Belsnickel (Julian Dennison).

Don’t worry too much about the plot, as it’s all over the map this time around — which is part of the problem. The meandering story allows us to spend more time in the magic of Santa’s village, but we also get subplots where Santa travels back in time as well as a storyline where we have to deal with hordes of elves hopped up on drugs that bears more than a little resemblance to the film Gremlins.

Like I said, the story is all over the place.

Never fear, because Santa is here. Kurt Russell is once again having a blast playing the cool version of old St. Nick. He plays the character with a wink in his eye, as well as sunglasses when he breaks out his saxophone.

It’s also nice to see him paired up again with Goldie Hawn, especially as she’s given a lot more to do this time around. The two of them have so much chemistry that they should make Christmas movies together every year.

There is another musical number, this time featuring Darlene Love as a poor airline attendant trying to get her passengers home on Christmas Eve. It is absolutely wonderful. If that number doesn’t get you into the Christmas spirit, you might want to check and see if your heart is three sizes too small.

I will admit that many of the special effects are a little cheesy. That’s a bit of a problem as the animated elves play a much bigger part in the sequel. Still, they are believable enough for young kids and cute enough for the rest of the family to enjoy.

That’s indicative of the entire movie. Christmas Chronicles 2 is not as magical as the original, but the actors are having a lot of fun, the kids once again learn some good-hearted life lessons and it’s all sprinkled with an abundance of magic that will entertain the entire family.

If you want to get your family in the Christmas spirit, I heartily recommend both Christmas Chronicles movies, at home or in local theaters.

 

Christmas Chronicles is on Netflix now and hits theaters on Dec. 4.

 

Movie reviews by Sean McBride, “The Movie Guy,” are published each week by Port Arthur Newsmedia and seen weekly on KFDM and Fox4. Sean welcomes your comments via email at smcbride@sbgtv.com.