The Christmas Chronicles 2
The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two (2020) movie review
A sequel to the 2018 Netflix original The Christmas Chronicles, Part Two sees the return of Kate Pierce, who ends up at the North Pole just in time to help save Christmas from a maniacal troublemaker… The Chris Columbus directed film was released this past Thanksgiving on Netflix to generally so-so reviews. I myself wasn’t particularly interested in a sequel, as I really enjoyed the first film’s small scale and heart.
Small scale and heart are not two things this sequel has. Now you can make a good film without those, but honestly, the story just doesn’t work for me. The whole ‘Christmas is in danger’ thing works sometimes, but typically best when it works WITH something else. Christmas is in danger BUT Buddy’s dad can grow as a character and help save the day, or Christmas is in danger BUT Jack can learn his lesson before its too late. What I can’t connect with is Christmas is in danger so let’s go to a place and do a thing to get a thing and take it to the thing to do another thing while they do this thing and then hopefully we can do enough fetch-quests to save Christmas.
And yeah Kate has a little bit of a character arc, but the film forgets about it for the better part of an hour on an already bloated runtime only to quickly shoehorn in some growth in a scene that doesn’t have consequences on the overall story. Plus Mrs. Claus wants children and that awkwardly doesn’t go anywhere. Plus I never really bought the villain in this film. His motivations are really weak, and his goals are strangely not too complex. Or thorough. He’s not a terrible villain, but he is why Christmas films don’t always need villains…
Overall though, I didn’t hate the film. I chuckled a few times, and was rarely bored. It has some fun callbacks, and of course Kurt Russell, who still holds the high bar for movie Santa’s for me. And, like the first film, there’s some answers regarding the Santa legend that I did not expect. Honestly it’s nice to see a Christmas film go the extra mile when it comes to continuity and worldbuilding. Plus Kurt Russell sounds really intense speaking Elvish, so that’s cool. You know he could say no and nobody in the production would make him.
So I know that’s a shorter paragraph for positive things, but like Jingle Jangle (2020), I’m kind of indifferent. It’s fun yeah, and the film does have its entertaining moments. Plus Kurt Russell is absolutely worth an extra point. But in the end the larger story and stakes just didn’t sell me. The characters aren’t very strong, the story is bafflingly simple, and the forced character development pulls no heartstrings. I’m going to be generous and say the film is an okay-enough watch, but don’t go out of your way. 5/10.
So The Christmas Chronicles: Part Deux? Did you watch it yet? What do you think? And here’s a tough question: What is your favorite sequel to a Christmas movie? Be sure to leave a like or a comment below and let us know! And of you liked this review and you want to read more like it, let us know in the comments what you’d like us to review next!
-review by Ryan Prince