The number three movie in a trilogy usually means trouble. "Return of the
Jedi" was hit & miss with some awesome action scenes marred by those darned
Ewoks. "The Matrix" sequels, "Reloaded" and "Revolutions" ruined the
franchise. Now here comes "Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause." Not that the
first two films in 1994 and 2002 were classics, but they were pretty
enjoyable. Part Three isn't all that enjoyable, and if my young daughter's
lack of interest in it is any indication, there's trouble at the North Pole.
The 2006 Yuletide movie is now on DVD.
The story is watered down and misses the essence that made the first two
films good. What happened to the rivalry between Reinhold's character of Dr.
Neil Miller and Allen's Scott Calvin/Santa Claus? There were some good lines
of dialogue between the two. What happened to Calvin's relationship to his
son, which was so important in the original 1994 film? Calvin's son, played
by Eric Lloyd, was intregral in believing in Santa and Christmas. He's grown
up in Part Three, but that doesn't mean he should've been given only a
couple of scenes to work with.
The movie is unintentionally creepy. The idea of Santa & Mrs. Claus having a
baby Claus is something I don't want to think about, but it's part of
storyline. Then there's Martin Short as Jack Frost, a combination of Billy
Idol and Linda Blair from "The Exorcist." He's Santa's main rival, an
outcast who wants to change Christmas. But he's scary looking with those
cold blue contacts.
Tim Allen is pretty much Tim Allen in most of the roles he plays. There's
not much difference in his acting style from "Home Improvement" to the
"Santa Clause" films. In most of the movies he's in, he tends to play a
successful businessman who has to learn something about himself, or his
family. Don't get me wrong. I've enjoyed Allen in many of his movies, in
particular, the "Toy Story" films. For its time, "Home Improvement" was
funny. However, in "Santa Clause 3," he runs on autopilot.
The rest of the cast are admirable actors. Ann-Margaret, Alan Arkin, Judge
Reinhold, and Martin Short are generally fine here, but most of the time
they're not given much to do. They're given a few lines and directions to
look stunned at the camera.
The idea of Jack Frost getting even with Santa Claus is a good one. But not
much is done with the premise. As with many sequels to sequels, the script
writers got carried away with trying to fit in as many characters and plot
points as possible. Some cute gags show up, such as vending machines that
read "Red Deer." The sets are Christmas-y and Robbie Greenberg's
cinematography is good as usual. As a whole, the movie doesn't work.
When the family is over on Christmas Day, there's usually that period of
time when everyone wants to let the turkey settle. While the kids are
playing with their toys, someone might pop in a Christmas DVD for the whole
family to enjoy. "Santa Clause 3" might make its way into the DVD player,
but I'm not sure if it'll stay in there for long.
Special thanks to Click Communications
Photos: © Disney. All rights reserved.
Okay, we get it...Christmas isn't all
about commercialism and presents. Sheesh!
Director: Michael Lembeck
Cast: Tim Allen, Martin Short,
Blooper reel, Christmas Carol-oke and
Ratio (1.78:1) and (1.33:1) for "family friendly viewing"
DVD RELEASE DATE
November 20, 2007