Screw The Reviews, 'The Christmas Chronicles 2' Rocked My Holiday World
Let me get something out right now: I LOVED The Christmas Chronicles. Loved it. Kurt Russell did such a wonderful job of playing this lovable but also gruff, no nonsense Santa, that clearly cared about kids and the spirit of giving, and yet had to get a job done. So naturally, I was pumped when I heard they’d be releasing a Christmas Chronicles 2, and it would include none other than the very awesome Goldie Hawn. Plus! It would be directed by Chris Columbus, the same director as Home Alone.
To be fair, the first Christmas Chronicles was a straight up holiday smash hit. Hands down. The movie was streamed 20 million times during its first week. I kid you not! “Even in his successful career, [Kurt Russell] has never had that many people see one of his movies in the first week ever,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told Business Insider. If you compared the movie’s release to a more traditional theatrical rollout, then the Netflix viewing numbers would translate into a first week gross of $200 million. “Even movies that go on to $1 billion don’t typically do that in the first week,” Sarandos said.
But then, it happened. Christmas Chronicles 2 was released on November 25th, and before I had a chance to watch it, I saw one bad review after another come rolling in. And I’ll be honest, it swayed me to almost not stream the sequel because I didn’t want to ruin how I felt about the original. But my 9-year-old daughter turned it on just before Thanksgiving dinner. The whole family watched it, and I’m here to tell you this: it rocked my holiday world. The movie is adorable and fun, and frankly, the reviews can suck it.
Kurt Russell fell back into his old beard and red coat with ease, reprising that same gruff, lovable Santa. The elves were slightly creepy, but in a fun and adorable way, same as the original. But I’ll tell you, the two characters that I loved the most were Goldie Hawn as Mrs. Claus, and Jack, played by the charming Jahzir Bruno.
The interplay between Russell and Hawn is just adorable, and it seems to fit them like… well… two people who actually really love each other, and have loved each other for a very long time. It’s almost like you can see the respect, passion, and past experiences in their eyes as they play Christmas’s most known long-term couple, and I couldn’t help but laugh at some of their subtle jabs and heartfelt exchanges. It’s like they spent their whole lives being in love so they could play these parts, making Hawn one of the best casting decisions I could imagine.
And Jack? What a little stud that kid is. He starts out with these fears of adventure, and worries about allergies, but ends by climbing a mountain and fighting a massive wild magical cougar. I mean, how cool is that? And what a great lesson for your kids.
The scene that really hit me hard — and if you are afraid of spoilers, you might want to stop reading after this sentence — was when Kate, played by Darby Camp, accidentally goes back in time with Santa. Yes, I know… the movie has time travel, and I paused when it happened, and was like, “This can’t end well.” But sure enough, it works, and if you will remember from the first film, Kate lost her father. She misses him dearly, and that’s what motivated her to get into trouble in the first film. During the second, she meets a young man at the airport back in 1990, and it turns out to be her father. She realizes it right before she and Santa have to leave, and I have to say, as someone who lost their father as a young man, this scene punched me right in the gut.
Here’s the real facts: I’m a 38-year-old father of three who happens to love Christmas movies. But the reality is, this movie isn’t really for me. It’s for … well … my kids. My opinion aside, and putting the online reviews in the closet, what I can tell you is this: my kids LOVED it. All three of them, ages 6, 11, and 13. Getting them to agree on a movie, and having them all actually enjoy it, is no easy task. In fact, even my six-year-old was totally into it, never taking her eyes off the screen, and refusing to answer questions. We’re still in the first week of December, and all three of my kids have watched it at least four times.
All in all, my friends, I’m here to tell you that the reviews are wrong. I’m sorry, but they are. The Christmas Chronicles 2 is totally wonderful, and if you haven’t watched it yet with your kiddos, I highly recommend it. It will totally put you in the Christmas spirit. You will enjoy the casting, and the acting. And your kids will totally love it, which is the greatest holiday magic of all.
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