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Santa Clause 3 – The Escape Clause, The

5/10

Stars: Tim Allen, Martin Short, Ann-Margret, Alan Arkin, Judge Reinhold

Director: Michael Lembeck

There’s one genre to which Hollywood always returns and that’s the sequel.

Rocky and Die Hard are set to re-emerge, Harrison Ford’s reprise as Indiana Jones (in Indiana Jones and the Zimmer Frame of Gold?) is constantly being threatened and Disney delivers its annual festive ‘treat’ by once again putting Tim Allen (presumably he’s delighted to have a regular job in movies) through his paces as Santa. This time around Santa’s having a tough time with his in-laws and if that wasn’t bad enough, he faces having Martin Short’s hugely hammy Jack Frost making a wicked bid to hijack Christmas and establish himself as a venerated holiday figure alongside such icons as Santa and the Easter Bunny.

Expensive production values make this look as gaudy as a department store grotto and about as sincere and convincing. While undemanding youngsters will probably enjoy the overarching silliness and feeble storyline, accompanying adults would be well advised to imbibe plenty of festive cheer to get them through the experience. Allen “Ho! Ho! Hos!” as though his career depends on it (which it may well do) and the other actors do what they can in the face of a facile screenplay and matching direction.

Alan Frank

USA 2006. UK Distributor: Buena Vista. Colour.
92 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 1.

Review date: 25 Nov 2006