Retro Film Review | Jingle All The Way

Plot: A father vows to get his son a Turbo Man action figure for Christmas. However, every store is sold out of them, and he must travel all over town and compete with everybody else in order to find one.

Director: Brian Levant

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman.

Genre: Action/Comedy

Released: December 1996

Jingle All the Way is somewhat of a mixed bag of a film,  in part, it’s a fun and cheesy Christmas film about two rival fathers, workaholic Howard Langston (Schwarzenegger) and postal worker Myron Larabee (Sinbad), both of whom are desperately trying to secure a Turbo-Man action figure on Christmas Eve, but also an interesting look at consumerism during the holiday season.

The plot is simple enough, but while the mishaps, accidents and hilarious antics build up along the two men’s journey to secure what seems like the last available toy in the city, you are given a glimpse into just what a parent will go through each Christmas to make their children happy.

I’m not going to say that the performances aren’t questionable, both Schwarzenegger and Sinbad try their best and are clearly having fun in their roles, but the writing in places let them down, reverting to children’s comedy too often in search for a cheap laugh.

This isn’t to say that I don’t really enjoy the film, no matter how ridiculous or poor it may be in places, you just have to be in a childish frame of mind to get the most out of it never slowing down. With my favourite scene depicting a group of department store Santas in an all-out brawl.

The energy and heart of the film are something the film is packed with and really that’s what you want from a cheesy film to help get you into the Christmas spirit, just maybe not if you’re a parent still looking for that hit toy for your child.

If you liked: The Santa Claus, Elf, Arthur Christmas

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