Jingle All The Way (1996)

This big-budget Christmas comedy has a coarse and very obvious wit, 
which would be perfect for kids if this were a kid's movie.  I'm 
not sure it is, even though the humor is as broad as the shoulders 
of its star, Arnold Schwarzenegger.  The Terminator plays a daddy 
desperate to find the most coveted toy in Minneapolis-- a Turbo Man 
doll-- on the day before Christmas.  Sure, the wee ones will love 
seeing Arnie chased through a living room by a reindeer, pummeled 
by purses in the Mall of America, and all the roughhouse rowdiness 
between him and Sinbad, who plays his postal-carrying rival.  But 
what will they make of the darker elements, like Phil Hartman's 
lecherous next-door neighbor?  Or Schwarzenegger slugging a Conga 
line of Clauses in a bootleg toy factory?  Or, my favorite, the 
smoldering head of a wise man that gets drop-kicked into a crowd of 
carolers?  (Heh.  Who *hasn't* wanted to cause unrest among ye 
merry gentlemen?)  Tolerating the rest of the movie, with its lazy 
plotting, frantic pacing, and a message that violence is a solution 
to everything, is a greater challenge.  As is accepting the fantasy 
ending, which, while extremely upbeat, veers uncomfortably into 
LAST ACTION HERO territory.  Stay through the credits for the final 
gag.  Great soundtrack, too, with several swingin' tunes from the 
Brian Setzer Orchestra.  (Rated "PG"/96 min.)

Grade: C+

Copyright 1996 by Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted in triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: November 24, 1996

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