3. Jingle All The Way
I’ll admit, this move wasn’t as heinous to my pre-pubescent mind on the first viewing. That said, I was still watching Barney and had yet to develop full common sense. Even with your brain switched to low-function, the last minute quest of two dads to find a toy on Christmas Eve is too thin a plot to ignore. If they are so willing to go to the ends of the earth for their little darling, why have they not bothered to get the all-important Santa present until now?
On a rather worrying note, when is someone going to tell Arnold Schwarzenegger that he can’t act? Are we all afraid of his ability to beat us to a pulp? It’s almost passable when he’s playing a meathead muscleman, but when he’s trying to convey emotion and fatherly devotion…yeesh. It’s excruciating.
You endure 90 minutes of cheesy one-liners just to reach an unbearably mawkish ending where little Jamie (it’s always Jamie, isn’t it?) realises he doesn’t need toys for Christmas; he just needs his dad. Puke.
2. Christmas with the Kranks
Oh, Tim Allen. Why are you hell-bent on stealing Christmas? We forgave you for The Santa Clause sequels. They were just for the kids, we said. But then you went and sullied Jamie Lee Curtis’ good name with this slapdash affair.
The start was promising enough; a couple plan to skip Christmas and go on a cruise instead. Naturally, they incur the wrath of their intrusive neighbours for their refusal to put Frosty the Snowman on their roof. When their daughter eventually decides to spend Christmas at home, they inconceivably decide to conceal all evidence that they have made other arrangements. Because God forbid they’d have to tell a twenty-year old the truth. Cue excessive panic to organise a party in twelve hours which attempts madcap hilarity but delivers lukewarm results.
The underlying message is: forsake your true desires in order to conform to other people’s standards. Because that’s what Christmas is all about, right?
The tagline? No Ho Ho. You’re better than this, Jamie Lee.
1. Home Alone 4: Taking Back The House
The words ‘made for TV movie’ are never synonymous with decent film-making ventures. This rehash has all the ingredients of a good Home Alone sequel. Except Macauley Culkin. And all of the original cast. And the magical John Williams score. So to sum up; it’s pretty bleak.
All attempt at humour backfires; it’s more slapstick than slick, with none of its predecessors’ charm. Even the booby-traps are uninspired and derivative. The lead kid is actually so annoying, you end up rooting for the hapless villains.
The whole endeavour is futile; any hope of entertainment is marred by the film’s audacity to re-cast Kevin McCallister and the characters we fell in love with. Daniel Stern (who played the unforgettable Marv in the original) was asked to reprise his role for the fourth instalment but declined, dubbing it “an insult, total garbage”. Couldn’t agree with you more.
I would say that this is the all-time worst Christmas movie, but I haven’t seen Home Alone 5. Its existence is more unnerving than adult Macauley Culkin. *shudders*