What happens if Santa Claus has an older brother who despise him since childhood and he visits him after years of not showing up in person? The Plot I’m actually referring to, is none other than Fred Claus.
Fred Claus was released in 2007. (same year Hot Fuzz came out) At the time of it’s release, the film received negative reviews from critics. Overtime, it went on to become an instant hit for television viewers. It often airs on Freeform/ABC Family’s 25 Days Of Christmas, as part of a holiday tradition to air selected Christmas films and television specials.
The following article doesn’t contain any SPOILERS. You are allowed to read this non-spoiler review. I’ll have you know this is a pretty short review, because this movie ain’t a big budget three hour epic. Just a simplistic plain movie. Is it a legit Christmas movie to watch during the holiday season? Time to find out.
Nice & Naughty Aspects
Nice: Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti, John Michael Higgins, & Kevin Spacey, (back when he was a respected actor, prior to revealing his misconduct) all did a good job on their respective performances.
Santa is referred as Nick, throughout the film. I’m giving this pro an Extra Point, whenever a character shares my first name, it makes me feel flattered.
The Mythos of Santa Claus, is depicted as a realistic take on him involving his family, workplace, and health problems, even though he’s immortal.
Both Interior, and Exterior sets of The North Pole, was constructed by set decorators.
Cinematography looked normal without any technical issues involving the camera.
Humor has some funny moments when Fred wrecks havoc at Santa’s shop.
Character Development involving Fred. Let’s just say he goes on a similar path like Mr. Scrooge or The Grinch.
Surfin Bird, (Peter Griffin’s favorite song) is played in the background. It was also used in Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket.”
Frank Stallone, Roger Clinton, & Stephen Baldwin, make cameo appearances as themselves. They’re real life brothers of. Sylvester Stallone, Bill Clinton & Alec Baldwin.
Fun Fact: Stephen’s older brother, Alec, went on to portray Santa Claus, in “Rise Of The Guardians.”
A Pause Worthy Moment featuring several Superman action figures. Kevin Spacey portrayed Lex Luthor in “Superman Returns.”
If you’re a huge fan of “The Fast & The Furious” movies like me, Ludacris (Tej) appears as one of Santa’s elves.
Jeffery Dean Morgan, (Bruce Wayne’s daddy/Negan from The Walking Dead/The Comedian from Watchmen) makes a surprise appearance.
The musical score from “Mouse Hunt,” is played in the background. Alan Silvestri (Back To The Future Trilogy, Forrest Gump, The Avengers) composed Gore Verbinski’s film debut.
I’m giving this film Bonus Points for playing a different take on Silent Night because it sounded like a traileresque music for dark and gritty films or television dramas. I have to admit, it gave me chills!
Naughty: Product Placement featuring certain brands including, Pepsi, Skippy Peanut Butter, and Toys R Us. I’ll give this flaw a pass, due to the lack of brands I couldn’t spot.
Annoying Cartoon Sound Effects are often used.
Why is Elizabeth Banks playing an elf, who’s literally taller than every single elf? There’s no explanation on why she’s tall. Is she Willie’s girlfriend’s offscreen sister (Mrs. Santa’s sister) from “Bad Santa?”
The Final Verdict: B, FOR BRIGHT LIGHTS!
In my opinion, Fred Claus, was surprisingly good, despite my two problems involving Cartoon Sound Effects, and Elizabeth Banks’s height as an elf. If you can’t find anything else to watch during The Holidays, I recommend this movie. Critics from around the world, I don’t think Fred Claus isn’t THAT bad on the same page as Home Alone 3 or The Santa Clause 3!