From Disney pictures, and directed by Michael Lembeck (amongst other TV series, he's directed some Friends episodes) comes the follow up to the hit Christmas comedy The Santa Clause. Tim Allen returns in the starring role as Scott Calvin/Santa, and this time round he's fully "into" the role. As the movie opens we meet the elves again (which smacks of the Lost Boys in Spielberg's Hook) along with the elf inventor Curtis (played by a superb Spencer Breslin), who happens to discover another Clause in the Santa Agreement. Yes, conveniently the new clause states that in order to remain as Santa, Calvin has to find a Mrs Claus and get married, all before Christmas Eve which is only a few weeks away.
However, to find his soul-mate, Santa has to leave the North Pole and return to the good ol' US of A, and in order to maintain order amongst the elves a plan is devised to clone Santa (don't ask). Conveniently just as Calvin plans to leave the North Pole his son is caught misbehaving at school and is in constant trouble with Carol Newman, the school Principle (played by Elizabeth Mitchell) who - unsurprisingly - doesn't really like Christmas. Needless to say this puts Santa in direct contact with her, and it's a simple case of joining the dots with the outcome nothing if predictable. Of course, things aren't plain sailing as whilst Santa is doing some soul searching back home, at the north pole his doppleganger decides that all children are in fact naughty, and that they should all receive coal instead of the sparkly toys the cute little elves have been busy making...
The Santa Clause 2 can best be described as a patchy affair. The opening is rocky, with a Hook-like sickly sweetness threatening to kill things, and it's not until Tim Allen returns to earth that things take a turn for the best. Indeed, it's Allen that keeps this movie afloat, and while he's onscreen you'll smile and laugh as his charisma and humour shine through.
For a lightweight piece of Christmas entertainment for the kids, you can't really go wrong with The Santa Clause 2. This won't win any awards, and adults will find only Allen himself engaging. But overall this is passable entertainment, and you'll find some enjoyment here if you're prepared to regress into your childhood for a couple of hours...
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