THE SANTA CLAUSE 3 Friday 25 November, 2011

Third time’s the charm? Or is it an iteration too far of this popular christmas series?

Yet another Tim Allen christmas vehicle (no, not a sleigh…although there is one in it). The first two films in the sequence were of a pretty high standard so can this one hold up to the test? Well, there hasn’t been another one made since this one in 2006 so I’m guessing that I’m not the only one who thinks so.

There’s not really a great deal wrong with this film and it’s a big fish in the pond of christmas films. It just feels a little stale this time around. The introduction appears to have been a ploy to inject some freshness into the proceedings. I’m not sure that was such a wise decision.

I mainly found him annoying. While I was watching this film I started wondering what films there were in which I had enjoyed a Martin Short performance. The only thing I could come up with was Inner Space. Right, I’ve just had a look at IMDB. It looks like the list goes like this: Inner Space, The Three Amigos, The Spiderwick Chronicles (he voices the super cute thimbletack) and the hilarious Uncle Jack from Arrested Development.

Now, I am perhaps doing him a disservice. His character is meant to be annoying. I think the problem for me is that I don’t like saboteurs. He spends the whole film sabotaging Santa. I can’t stand watching things like that. So I just ended up getting annoyed instead of enjoying the film. ┬áThat’s saying more about me than the film though…so, I probably shouldn’t have said anything about it then. You might all love saboteurs.

Overall the production value hits new heights with this film and the cast is boosted not only by the addition of Martin Short. The little girl from Zombieland pops up in a small role. Alan Arkin and Ann Margaret play Santa’s parents in law.

I think the real problem for this film is that it’s a formula film. It’s not a continuation of a story. It has to follow a similar narrative arc as the first two and this is a hindrance as much as a help.

On the whole this is an acceptable film and for a christmas film it is pretty good but it suffers from a bad case of sequel-itis. It will still make you feel magic inside but unless they can come up with some fresh ideas I hope it’s the last iteration we’ll see.

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