The Christmas Chronicles Review

Synopsis

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.

Final Thoughts

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

About the Author
Casey Kelderman found a love for film at a very early age. One of his earliest memories of watching movies was the original Star Wars trilogy on VHS. Casey graduated from The University of Sioux Falls in 2017. At USF Casey produced weekly movie reviews and hosted a radio show. He graduated with a degree in Media Studies. Skills he learned in college have allowed him to help create Back Lot 605. He has produced and directed 4 short films. His favorite films include Halloween, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and Die Hard.
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