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Santa Clause 2
2002 - G - 105 Mins.
Director: Michael Lembeck
Producer: Richard Baker, Matt Carroll, Bruce Franklin
Written By: Don Rhymer, Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio, Ed Decter, John J. Strauss
Starring: Tim Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell, Eric Lloyd, David Krumholtz, Judge Reinhold
Review by: Joe Rickey
   
Now the official Santa Claus, a regular guy (Tim Allen) must fulfill the clause of finding a wife before Christmas Eve in the sequel to the 1994 hit original. Michael Lembeck who previously directed episodes for various television shows such as Friends and Everybody Loves Raymond, directs the film.

Tim Allen made a name for himself on the long running television comedy Home Improvement and the first Santa Claus was his first big screen hit, grossing over 100 million at the box office. After such success a sequel was bound to happen. Now, eight years later the sequel has been produced and armed with a family-friendly G rating. The original was a little raunchier and therefore garnered a PG rating. The fact that the film is now even tamer is more of a hindrance than one would think at first with a film starring Tim Allen. In the end, there is not that much lost because the film is not characterized by Tim Allen’s signature humor.

With all of the restrictions that come with a G rating the normally sharp-witted Tim Allen can’t let loose and be funny in the vulgar way he can be and is best at and known for. When Allen is forced to be more subdued he comes across as a very plain and dull personality. His charisma is almost totally gone from the film. The rest of the actors, such as Judge Reinhold are fine in their limited roles. Reinhold is especially witty in his small role.

Direction by Lembeck is rather weakly done, as it is clear that the film didn’t have a very large budget for effects and sets and it shows by the plasticity of the surroundings. Where did the reported 65 million the film cost go? Lembeck frankly doesn’t play the material with enough finesse to make it seem more than familiar and make one wonder for more than an instant where the film is headed. The Sixth Clause this film is not. The film also struggles from descending into the sappy melodrama so prevalent in family films these days. The film also tends to be quite silly at times when it attempts at humor. Of course, that’s to be expected in a family comedy that is trying to court young children. The film’s type of humor is slight and inoffensive to say the least.

The film’s musical score is a bouncy and obviously holiday-themed mixture that works relatively well but certainly isn’t as memorable as it could have been or as sprightly as the score in the original Santa Claus film.

Overall, The Santa Claus 2 is an inoffensive form of entertainment for the family that isn’t very original but still provides for some laughs for those nondiscriminatory audiences such as young children.
 
Movie Guru Rating
Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable. Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable. Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable.
  2.5 out of 5 stars

 
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