Two years ago Kate (Darby Camp) joined Santa on an unforgettable adventure to save Christmas. Now Kate is a teenager, currently away on holidays with her family. Not only is this holiday at the beach instead of the snow, but her mother has brought her boyfriend named Bob (Tyrese Gibson) and his son. Kate is naturally not interested in Bob and has frustrations that her mother would even be dating a man after her father passed away a few years ago. Kate has no interests in supporting her mother and struggles to accept Bob.
While Kate is unhappy and having issues, a man named Belsnickel (Julian Dennison) has plans of his own. He has desires to enter the North Pole and ruin Christmas. Belsnikel decides to use Kate as bait to get into the North Pole and hopes to confront Mr and Mrs Claus once and for all. But who is Belsnikel, and how does he know about the North Pole?
Soon Kate is reunited with Santa Claus (Kurt Russell) and is introduced for the first time to Mrs Claus (Goldie Hawn). But while the reunion is enjoyed, it’s also brief as Belsnikel reveals his master plan and begins to alter Christmas. Now Santa needs help once again to save the joyful holiday and restore the spirit of Christmas.
I enjoyed the first film, which was released on Netflix back in 2018. I thought the film was a solid Christmas movie that could be enjoyed by the whole family. This instalment serves as a sequel and is certainly more aimed at young children rather than families. Kurt Russell playing Santa Claus once again is brilliant, and I enjoyed seeing actress Goldie Hawn playing Mrs. Claus. While the two are partners in real life, the chemistry as Mr and Mrs Claus is on point, and they are naturally the most pleasing element to see in this film. The film’s villain for the most part is fun, and I enjoyed the film attempting to do something different in a Christmas movie.
Kate, as a leading character, has changed quite dramatically from what I recall of the last film. This time her character comes across more spoilt and is undoubtedly less likeable here as a lead. Unlike the first film, The Christmas Chronicles 2 uses a large amount of CGI and relies on the use of a green screen which gives the film more of an animation vibe rather than a live movie. There are also characters including many elves who are too heavily CGI, again making it feel more like a kids film. Many jokes are childish, and many twists within the plot are highly predictable. Some moments are also repeated, including Santa pulling out his saxophone and sunglasses, attempting to pull off another musical number to bring the Christmas spirit to those who are negative just like what we saw in the last film.
Overall, while seeing Santa return to Netflix is undoubtedly welcomed, I can’t deny this is a step down from the first instalment. Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn are excellent on-screen together and are easily my favourite ingredient in the film. But the cheesy jokes and heavy use of CGI makes this film more aimed at young children rather than a young family. The villain is undoubtedly different, and I appreciate the creativity bringing him to life. The plot is predictable, but in the end it’s a brainless Christmas film, and it’s perfect for those seeking that holiday spirit.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden