Once the writers came up with the idea of having Tim Allen drafted as a reluctant Santa Claus, they were so pleased with themselves that they put their pencils down.

THE SANTA CLAUSE

A Illusion review by Joan Ellis.


If you think a modern story, such as 1994's "Miracle on 34th Street" will solve the problems that attend a remake, you may be tempted instead to go to an adjacent theater for "The Santa Clause." Don't. Once the writers came up with the idea of having Tim Allen drafted as a reluctant Santa Claus, they were so pleased with themselves that they put their pencils down. Allen's reindeer and sleigh travel magically over the same rooftops throughout the movie, while the North Pole elves, who are Power Rangers in disguise, work the same toy factory set repeatedly. This movie is about the suburbs, divorce, and a lonely little boy. It is tiresomely contemporary. It is not funny. If 1994's remake of "Miracle on 34th Street" seems out of place in the Nintendo era, "Santa Clause" seems, quite literally, to be born of it. Both movies are nicely cast with willing actors who try to transcend their material. Somewhere out there is a writer who could make a good story of a small aspect of a modern Christmas. Spirit and belief are surefire subjects for a creative mind that plays with magic, and even the most cynical among us might love to be touched unexpectedly by laughter or tears. This will not happen here.


Film Critic: JOAN ELLIS
Word Count: 207
Studio: BUENA VISTA
Rating: PG 1h37m


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