Movie Reviews

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Rating: 5 out of 10
Movie Details: View here

Tim Allen as Santa/Scott Calvin
Elizabeth Mitchell as Mrs. Claus/Carol Calvin
Eric Lloyd as Charlie Calvin
Judge Reinhold as Neil Miller
Wendy Crewson as Laura Miller
Spencer Breslin as Curtis
Liliana Mumy as Lucy Miller
Martin Short as Jack Frost
Ann-Margret as Sylvia Newman
Alan Arkin as Bud Newman
Abigail Breslin as Trish
Art LaFleur as Tooth Fairy
Aisha Tyler as Mother Nature
Kevin Pollak as Cupid
Jay Thomas as Easter Bunny

Despite a few good jokes, "The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause" is largely a bland, boring film for adults. Kids will still get a kick out of it.

Some time after "The Santa Clause 2," Scott and Carol are expecting their first child together at the North Pole. However, Carol is homesick and misses her family. Despite the looming Christmas deadline, Scott agrees to bring her parents to the North Pole (which they’ll disguise as Canada, eh!). He also brings his family along for the ride, too.

Unfortunately, at the same time Jack Frost comes to town secretly wishing to be as popular as Santa. Scott takes him on as extra help, but Jack uses the opportunity to sabotage the Christmas efforts. Will all the pressure of family and work drive Scott to wish he'd never become Santa? And what would happen if Jack Frost took over the role?

"The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause" is rated G.

The Good:
Despite the fact that this is the third "Santa Clause" movie, the creators still managed to come up with some fun new ideas. Most notable is the elves' plan to make the North Pole look like Canada. They throw in a few amusing Canada jokes that liven the story up. And Martin Short as Jack Frost, though mostly toned down, does have a few moments to cut loose and deliver improvised lines that are quite funny. Ann-Margret as Sylvia Newman and Alan Arkin as Bud Newman also have a few moments to shine, most notably when they inevitably discover that Scott Calvin is Santa Claus. I also have to compliment Liliana Mumy as Lucy Miller. She has more life than anybody else in the cast. And be sure to watch the end credits for the bloopers. It looks like this was a fun set to be on.

On a side note, as a "Lost" fan, it's awfully weird to see Elizabeth Mitchell go from Mrs. Claus to one of The Others and back again.

The Bad:
Unfortunately, I was flat out bored by "The Santa Clause 3." My kids watched it with rapt attention, but I was keeping my eye on my watch. This movie did nothing for me. The characters were bland and never used to their full potential. The story didn't really do anything new or different. The whole thing had a feel like they were wringing the last dollars out of the "Santa Clause" franchise.

And if I never see Tim Allen and Spencer Breslin in movies again, that will be OK with me. (Well, maybe except for Allen in "Toy Story 3" or "Galaxy Quest 2.") Allen just isn't that funny anymore and it's baffling why Breslin is still acting. Even with a strong cast of other Legendary Characters, none of them were used to their full comic potential. It was quite a disappointment.

The Bottom Line:
Kids will love "The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause" but adults may find themselves quite disappointed by it.

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