In his latest motion picture, action star Kurt Russell has gone from Snake to Santa – portraying a rough, tough, and in-your-face Saint Nick – who confronts his enemies with the power… of his naughty list.
From the producers behind Home Alone and the Harry Potter movies, comes an action-packed Christmas movie featuring car chases, Kurt Russell, and a bag of presents where it’s universally bigger on the inside (like the Tardis from Doctor Who).
Yes, I know that sounds ridiculous. Which is precisely why this movie is fantastic.
The Netflix Christmas special known as ‘The Christmas Chronicles’ is a delight – providing audiences with all the campiness of a Hallmark Christmas special, while paying tremendous homage to Kurt Russell action films. The actor, giving such a unique performance as tough guy Santa Claus, that it’s hard not to laugh, and love, this bizarre blend of Kurt Russell Christmas Self-Parody.
It begins with a family is dealing with loss (Like any good Hallmark Movie). A firefighter father is dead in the line of duty – as his wife, a do-it-all mom, and Nurse, must work on Christmas eve –while struggling to keep her children in line. Her eldest son is suddenly taking an interest in a car thievery. As the youngest daughter tries desperately to keep the spirit of Christmas alive…
By blackmailing her brother into helping her catch Santa Claus.
Which they inevitably do, causing Kurt Russell Claus to crash his sleigh. Now Santa must get back to work delivering presents or else face the possibility of causing another ‘Dark Age’ (Because the dark ages were a result of a lack of Christmas). With the Christmas Spirit running dangerously low, will Santa…
No, no, you already know the answer.
The story is unusual in that it does a good job playing with badass action themes (like car stealing) by making its victims morally grey. Stealing is wrong, but what if it’s borrowing a stolen car from a bad person, only to return it to the police? Breaking and entering is evil, but what if it’s to deliver Christmas presents?
These are the kind of fun moral quandaries the movie plays with which make it appealing. That, and they make Santa a badass Kurt Russell (Notice I’m not saying the other way around).
This Santa is annoyed with his Jolly fat guy image and portrays him more as a man on a mission. A person there to get the job done. He is not soft. This Santa wears a red leather trench coat instead of red velvet fur. He’s upfront and honest – overcoming situations not with violence, but with the truth – as he’s an all-knowing sort of Santa.
Though one with his typical Christmas Magic – the effects in this movie: superb. Santa is filled with dusty Christmas colored magic, and the Reindeer look stunningly real, while the Elves look and act, like a crossbreed between a ‘Despicable Me’ minion with a ‘Gremlin’. All in good fun and spirits.
Though like any good Christmas movie, it’s all about the power of belief. Which works well because surprisingly, this Christmas movie is surprisingly honest. The outside world, acting surprisingly real in how they’d react to meeting a man who ‘claims’ to be Santa (especially one who looks like Kurt Russell). And the cops are surprisingly put together. They’re not ones to give in easily, but also not idiots at their jobs who’d throw the law away for the sake of a crazy man in a leather trench coat.
Overall, a fun holiday movie that doesn’t reinvent the genre – It just Kurt Russell’s the Claus.
To be honest, they could have just marketed this a “Kurt Russell” Christmas and it still would have worked. Fans of his will especially enjoy a very befitting cameo featuring Mrs. Claus.
You can Watch The Christmas Chronicles streaming on Netflix.