The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause is a kid’s movie like you would not believe. You probably figured that from the G rating and all but let me reaffirm it for you real quick-like. This bad boy is kid friendly. You got kids? Take ’em. You don’t? Uh, you may want to reconsider.
Now for another warning: if you’ve got some bigger kids don’t take them. I’m not sure what the cut-off age is because I think kids age differently (for instance when I was five I was ready for political discourse). I will say anything in double digits is probably a no-fly zone here. Anyway, probably time to actually discuss the movie itself, I’ve prattled on about who should and shouldn’t see it enough. The plot is pretty straightforward and could probably be gleaned from the trailer alone but here goes nothing: Santa is in trouble. Tim Allen is Santa and Christmastime is right around the corner. He’s got a wife (who actually turns out to be a bit of a shrew). No offense to the real Mrs. Clause but this movie version isn’t very understanding of just how busy Kris Kringle is, so he’s forced to round up the in-laws as a support system for her. Martin Short involves himself in Santa’s little world as Jack Frost – a wannabe Santa. He does his best to sabotage the whole process of toy making and the beat goes on.
My main issue is that as lush as the North Pole world is rendered (and it is quite lush) it’s not enough to make the plot interesting or speedy. Santa Clause 3 is a 90 minute movie but it drags a bit when you consider you already know the ending and the jokes are ultra-juvenile. Tim Allen is way better than normal because normally I hate him something fierce. He’s fine here which is a huge win as far as I’m concerned. Martin Short is also pretty good with frosted icy hair. I found Mrs. Clause (Elizabeth Mitchell) to be tiresome but the role wasn’t great to begin with. If they ask you to have a little light in your eyes while complaining about your husband’s workload I can see why you’d mail it in.
You’ll have a choice this weekend; Flushed Away or Santa Clause 3. Look over at your child right now. Is he reading or is he drooling on alphabet blocks? Is she asking you for money or beaming that she just found a penny on the floor? These are crucial questions, questions you must face when deciding where your twenty bucks and 90 minutes are headed. If I had to do it over again I’d see Flushed Away. I’m into the holiday season as much as the next guy but I can’t transplant myself back to that time and place when I got excited about my status on naughty/nice list.