Movie Review - Fred Claus
Starring Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti
Rated PG for mild language and some rude humor
Fred Claus is your regular holiday movie wrapped up with new actors/actresses and a slightly different take. This time, we experience the Santa Claus story as a dysfunctional family story. The flick explains to us that way back in the day, a family had two sons, one who grew up to become Santa Claus. Since Santa Claus is a saint, the entire family becomes immortal and lives forever. Fast forward to modern day and it appears that the brothers are still at odds. Fred is in trouble with money and reluctantly calls upon his brother for help who agrees to give him money if he will come to the North Pole to help out for a couple weeks. Fred agrees and soon causes problems at the Pole. The rest of the flick deals with resolving family issues as well as a crazy guy played by Kevin Spacey who is bent on shutting down the whole Christmas operation.
The entire story is somewhat refreshing change from the normal Santa Claus story however is delivered in such an unimaginative way that it drowns out some of the creativeness of the story. Both stars, Vaughn and Giamatti, are talented and capable leading men who took some time to inject themselves into this show but are stuck with not much room to stretch as the script is tied down to stereotypical laughs. I keep getting torn from side to side as I analyze the film. At points it is an amusing and fun ride, but at other times the script can't seem to find a balance between the laughs and the sentimental.
I enjoyed Fred Claus but was ultimately disappointed in the delivery. I expected more from Vaughn and Giamatti as well as the director, David Dobkin, who's last film, Wedding Crashers, was an excellent show that balanced sentimentality and laughs effectively.
This is a good family film to enjoy during the holiday's with very little to offend. I can see this film garnering a place in the DVD collection next to The Santa Clause and Elf.
You can check out Fred Claus for yourself at the Cinema 3 in the Westview Plaza, McCook. Check our their website, www.fridleytheatres.com for more showtimes.