A truly harrowing film…
I have a chequered history with Tim Allen. He provided me with one of my happiest workplace memories when a colleague and I gave the answer ‘Tim Allen’ to every question during an employee quiz (and continued to do so after everyone else had stopped finding it funny and it had just become awkward) but he was also responsible for a small nervous breakdown I had in 2014. I should explain. For the past two years I have been really organized at the start of the 12 days of Christmas films but it always inevitably becomes a drunken sprint to the end by the conclusion. The first year was particularly galling and it culminated in me trying to watch Tim Allen’s The Santa Claus whilst simultaneously throwing up and crying (see below for a reminder of that terrible time.)
So it was with understandable trepidation that I sat down to watch The Santa Claus 2. Nothing could have prepared me for what was to follow. The Santa Claus 2 is probably the worst thing that has ever happened to me. It is difficult to fathom why Tim Allen felt the need to birth this grotesque sequel a full 8 years after the original but I’m assuming it wasn’t because of a clamour from ‘fans’.
The plot is bizarrely difficult to follow with Santa Claus (Tim Allen) having to find a wife in three days because of the Mrs Clause ‘clause’ (really). Meanwhile his son, who is causally stepfathered by Judge Reinhold as if that is normal, has been placed on the naughty list. Because of the Mrs Claus ‘claus’, Santa is suffering from being de-santa’d (a direct quote) which means he is slowly morphing back into just every day Tim Allen like some kind of monstrous reverse werewolf. Then things get really, uncomfortably weird…
First off, to cover Santa’s absence the elves produce a nightmarish toy Santa who is also played by Tim Allen. Sometimes, toy Tim Allen and real Tim Allen interact, leading me to question if I had accidentally stumbled into a black hole rather than just put on a Christmas film. Secondly, the reindeer appear and they talk because of course they do. But they don’t talk like you would imagine a CGI reindeer to talk. Instead they sound like an actual reindeer would if you could somehow manipulate their vocal chords in order to force them to speak. If that sounds like something that would cause the dark lord Cthulu to switch the TV off in a fog of terror and confusion then that’s because it is. It is that.
Toy Tim Allen then becomes self aware and tries to take over the North Pole interspersed with the real Tim Allen taking a woman on a date and showing up outside her house with real life reindeer and a sleigh. She thinks this is delightful. Just to recap, that’s just an average Tim Allen rocking up on a sleigh and that is fine. Nobody starts bleeding out of their eyeballs. Everything is fine.
Now is probably a good time to mention that this movie has 5 credited writers on IMDB. And they thought that all of this madness added up to something that can be described as a film and not an existential crisis. I would say *spoiler alert* here but if reading this has made you want to see The Santa Claus 2 then spoilers are the very least of your problems. By the end Tim Allen uses magic and blackmail to trick a beautiful woman into becoming his wife whilst defeating his plastic doppelgänger in the process. It’s difficult to imagine how Christmas can be salvaged at this point…
My review of The Santa Claus in full:
It turns out that watching 12 films in 12 days at this time of year is a logistical nightmare. My plan was to go out for a friend’s birthday, have two pints (wait for it to all blow over – wink), then return home for a civilised night with Tim Allen and Judge Reinhold. Instead what transpired was, I had seven pints of real ale, stumbled home leathered and stared incomprehensibly at Tim Allen’s smirking face for forty five minutes before giving up and going to bed.
I really tried to follow what was going on but at one point I was seeing double Tim Allen’s and literally nobody wants that.