After a tragic loss in their family, siblings Teddy and Kate Pierce must rediscover the love for the Christmas season that they once share. After capturing a glimpse of Santa Claus (Kurt Russell) on video from a previous Christmas, Kate (Darby Camp) decides to hold a stakeout to catch old Kris Kringle. Reluctantly older brother Teddy (Judah Lewis) agrees and the two begin a night they will never forget.
Upon hearing Santa leaving their home, the siblings chase after to discover that jolly St. Nicholas is more than a myth. Santa discovers Teddy and Kate in his sleigh, thus causing the trio to crash in Chicago. With the kids thousands of miles from home, Santa reluctantly agrees to allow the two to help him on his journey to save Christmas.
What I Liked
This isn’t your Grandma’s Santa Claus. Most known for his tough guy roles in Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from New York, Kurt Russell is Santa for a new generation. Russell has a great chemistry with the two young leads, allowing for a believable relationship between the three.
Darby Camp plays that youthful excitement for Christmas perfectly. She makes you believe in that Christmas spirit we have all felt at least once in our lifetime.
The story is a family, friendly adventure that allows for viewers of all ages to enjoy. Russell is the standout as St. Nick, topped off with a musical performance of “Santa Claus Is Back In Town”.
What Could Have Been Improved
The overall directing of the story is paint-by-numbers for a family film. No character is too serious, including a pair of Chicago police officers. For the first live action film from Clay Kaytis, he did a decent job of bringing this Netflix Original to the screen.
As stated the chemistry between siblings Teddy and Kate was a highlight of the movie. With that being said, the characterization of Teddy is very cliche. Teddy is portrayed as the older brother too cool to associate with his little sister. Nothing more than a typical teenage movie character in a family film.
This is a film that people of all ages can enjoy. Kurt Russell brings something new to the man in red, and creates a Santa that you have never seen before. Paired with a fun cameo at the end of the film, The Christmas Chronicles is well worth a watch this holiday season.
Overall Score 3.5/5
Be sure to check out another review from a recent holiday release, The Grinch!
Also check out our latest episode of the Back Lot 605 podcast is all about our favorite Christmas movies.
Review by Casey Kelderman, Back Lot 605 Co-Host