The Christmas Chronicles on Netflix is brilliantly bonkers. From beginning to end the pace is lightening speed and absolutely packed with action. Everything about it is incredible. The special effects, the witty jokes and the very modern and cool Santa are all top notch. Kurt Russell (The Hateful Eight, Bone Tomahawk) is genius casting as Santa.
Forget the old, dowdy, fat jolly Saint Nick to which we've all become accustomed. Russell is modern and edgy with a real twinkle in his eye. In fact I can't imagine any other actor playing the part as well as he does. Alongside Santa, in this tale, are brother and sister Teddy and Kate Pierce.
The story goes that Christmas used to be a very big deal in their home. Sadly their father passed away earlier in the year and the spirit has all but gone from the family. With their mum working over time and the kids permanently squabbling, things are rather bleak for the kids. The Kate decides to try to capture Santa on video. Reluctantly agreeing to help her, Teddy sets things up so that when Santa makes an appearance and the trigger goes off the kids are primed and ready to capture the great man on camera.
Taking things a little too far, the two end up in Santa's sleigh making their presence known only when in mid-flight. Scaring the life out Santa, he loses control of his sleigh. The reindeer get loose, his hat flies off, the bag of presents falls off the sleigh and the trio crash in Chicago.
With no money and the magic from the hat gone, Santa, Teddy and Kate are fast running out of time to save Christmas. The Christmas Chronicles charters their attempt to not only rescue Christmas but also to regain the spirit of Christmas.
I've read other reviews of the film and frankly I suspect not one of these critics actually sat and watched it with their kids. Dissecting the film like it's an Oscar contender is honestly ridiculous. Of course you can poke holes in the plot, it's a Christmas movie for God's sake. But it's one of the best in the genre to come out for a long time. Funny, quirky with excellent CGI, the elves are adorable. As are the kids and the whole ethos of the movie.
I watched this with my child and she loved it. She was glued to it and laughed hysterically throughout. She even called it ‘epic'. And it is. We'll be watching it again on Christmas day and I can't wait!