Written by: Don Rhymer, Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio, Ed Decter, John J. Strauss
Starring: Tim Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, David Krumholtz
Some individuals spend their entire lifetime trying to find the right person to marry as it comes with loads of trust and vulnerability. It makes sense why it would take plenty of time, but The Santa Clause 2 presents the conundrum of having to do this within 28 days for the sake of all Christmas. It certainly puts plenty of pressure on that first date as it proves to be the plot of this enjoyable sequel.
Eight years on the job as Santa, Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) learns the news of the “Mrs. Clause,” which means he must find a wife before the next Christmas or he’ll lose his ability as Santa Clause. This means Scott must go back into town to find this wife while a Toy Santa replica gets created to keep the elves on task as Christmas approaches.
Now, I’ve done some mean procrastination in my days but the level it gets displayed with the characters in this sequel reaches a level I never thought possible. In the eight years Scott has worked as Santa Claus, these elves left it until 28 days before the deadline to inform Santa he needs to find a Mrs. Imagine resting the very fate of Christmas on the ability for someone to find a wife and get married in 28 days. You almost have to respect that level of procrastination, which certainly adds some stakes to everything occurring in this film if not representing an insane level of idiocy.
As a result of everything happening in this feature, the narrative gets split into two stories: One occurring with Scott trying to find a wife and the elves trying to maintain this Toy Santa so as to not delay Christmas. The latter story raises so many questions, which may feel nitpicky to some but in a franchise wanting to delve into painstaking detail about how Santa operates, it astounds they would try to make a copy of him. For what purpose and what ethical lines are they crossing if all goes successful and they need to dispose of this Santa copy? One would think they need to dispose of it but with something genuinely in the belief it’s a living thing, it feels rather dark to simply terminate it once it completes its purpose.
This certainly does not mean other questions do not get raised with Scott down with the regular people where it demonstrates he has a limited amount of magic he can utilize before he returns to the North Pole. One of the uses comes from a stunt he pulls in trying to bring Christmas cheer to impress Carol Newman (Elizabeth Mitchell), a prospective Mrs. Claus. He makes a bag full of presents appear raising the question of if Santa can make presents appear then why can they not do this for all presents? Why are the elves working tirelessly to get these presents made when he can simply conjure them all up?
Okay, this review will not just be questions trying to poke at this film as it does have lovely moments within it like the central romance between Scott and Carol. Filled with several beautifully romantic moments, it truly shows Tim Allen at his most charming ever in his cinematic career. It truly created a Christmas wonderland allowing for what could be a potential marriage to save Christmas that much more believable. This element ultimately saves this feature from all of the other subpar moments because it works so well and remains wholly integral to the plot.
Even then, this film struggles in keeping Charlie (Eric Lloyd) integrated into the story, which is disappointing considering his importance in the first film along with the addition of the other mythical figures like Mother Nature (Aisha Taylor) and Tooth Fairy (Art LaFleur). Their inclusion just introduced an Easter Bunny from hell they should have never tried to bring to life. Seriously, it will keep you up at night thinking of that monstrosity. It just makes for a film with unnecessary bloat to it when the central love story had plenty going for it and could have demanded more of the runtime.
A step down from its predecessor but still enjoyable by its own merits, The Santa Clause 2 introduces several absurdities in its storyline but one cannot expect too much from these films. With its whole host of issues, it still nails the very reason why it exists with the central love story, which negates everything else lacking for me.