'Fred Claus'

Do we really need another bawdy reimagining of the classic Santa tale? In my mind Ernest Saves Christmas put the genre to bed back in 1988, but since then the procession has been endless: Bad Santa, Elf, Jingle All the Way, The Santa Clause, etc. Some of those movies were pretty funny, but even Mozart knew that you can only have so many variations on a theme before it’s time to find a new movement.

The conceit of Fred Claus is pretty simple: Vince Vaughn plays Santa’s roguish older brother — the outcast of the Christmas-card perfect Claus family — who returns to HQ (a heavily CGI-ed North Pole) and uses his sarcastic charm to snake his way back into the family business. Paul Giamatti actually seems pretty good as Santa, but Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin clearly thinks that Vaughn can carry a comedy solo. (Owen Wilson did it definitively with You, Me, and Dupree, so why can’t he!?) Things eventually get out of hand, and a calculating Kevin Spacey — who appears to head up some sort of evil mega-corporation that controls childhood myths — threatens to close up the shop. Like a good Christmas stocking, it’s the simple pleasures that make this trailer bearable: the ridiculousness of Ludacris playing an elf, for example. With a few eggnogs before, during, and after, this could actually be ok. Just don’t hold the rum.

No Comments

No comments yet.

Comments RSS

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.