One man, 52 Christmas movies, one must be watched every week or the challenge is lost. Welcome to The Christmas Movie Challenge.
I remember the Christmas I watched this film for the first time, it was a frosty December night in 1998 and the combination of Schwarzenegger and Christmas was too much for my 17 year old mind. I was in for a bitterly disappointing 93 minutes.
As a fan of Arnie’s brand of 80s action and event movies I always approached his comedies with caution. Twins, Kindergarten Cop and even the car crash that was Last Action Hero had its moments.
However, lets be honest Arnie hasn’t got natural comic timing and he will always be remembered for his action roles over his comedy ones. I didn’t like the film much in the late 90s and my expectations are indeed very low. But it’s Christmas (Movie Challenge), so I thought why not give it another chance.
Arnie plays Howard a busy mattress salesman (seriously who promises his son the must have toy for Christmas, Turbo Man. Sadly as it’s Christmas Eve, every store has sold out and Howard does whatever it takes to get his son the impossible gift for Christmas.
Second time round, Jingle All The Way was just as bad as I remember. Even if you cut the movie some slack because it’s a Christmas film, it’s still criminally unfunny. There are thankfully some chuckles from the supporting cast, James Belushi as a Mall Santa and the late Phil Hartman as Howard’s neighbour Ted add a glimmer of Christmas cheer. A pre Phantom Menace Jake Lloyd acts Arnie off the screen, and the whole sorry affair is a mess from start to finish.
This started a bad run of projects for Schwarzenegger, he’d just made Eraser, and Batman & Robin, End of Days, The Sixth Day, Collateral Damage and T3 were all still to come. Jingle All The Way was the movie to signal the end of Arnie’s incredible run of enjoyable movies. There are times in this movie, I almost thought I was watching another one of his Japanese commercials.
It’s a sad thing when a former iconic actor starts to slum it, it’s equally tragic when they try desperately to cling on to former glories (naming no names, Steven Seagal). Seeing Arnold’s descent into comedy was like going to see Santa Claus at a shopping centre as a child, and as he makes his entrance he falls over in a drunken haze soiling himself in the process. Embarrassing for all involved.
Frankly I’d get a more Christmassy feeling from watching Predator, which I may have to watch immediately.Pin It