Jingle All The Way

I'm getting sick of these Christmas-comedy-family movies. I really, really am. I mean, I really don't even understand how these movies make any money to begin with. They're just so predictable, pedestrian, and overtly cliche. Anyway, I suppose I better get this over with...

The plot follows a typical busy businessman, Howard (aka Arnold Schwarzenegger), who can't seem to manage both his work and his family. After "breaking that last straw" by missing a karate event, Howard promises his son that he'll get him his ultimate Christmas wish - a Turbo-man action figure. However, as Howard soon learns, this particular toy cannot be found anywhere because of how popular it is. Hi-jinks ensue, values are learned, etc. and so forth.

Where to begin with the criticism here? I guess I'll start with jokes, as so many just fall flat on their face because of how hammy this script is. I mean, the cast isn't all that bad, but this script just butchers any chance the film has of being funny. Admittedly, there are a few moments that made me chuckle - especially Phil Hartman's character Ted. Frankly, he's the only really funny guy in this movie, and his deliverance of the line "Oh, these cookies!" is to die for. James Belushi, who plays a cop with a grudge, can also be quite funny at parts, though not as hysterical as Hartman.

The rest of the movie just follows the typical bad-quality, however. Where Schwarzenegger doesn't try hard enough, Sinbad - an over-the-top mailman - tries far too hard. Granted, he has a few good lines, this still doesn't make up for your typical plot, scenarios, and so on. The third act is just bizarrely random, to the point where I wonder if the writer just wrote himself into a corner.

It has its moments, but Jingle All The Way is still quite far from being a good Christmas movie...

3/10 - Bad





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