Greg Tyler

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Christmas 2013: Jingle All The Way

Part of the series Christmas 2013

Arnold Schwarzenegger teaches his son the true meaning of Christmas by ignoring him and instead hanging out with washed-up comedian Sinbad.

Christmas spirit

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ There are some sincere Christmas feels in this, with big parades and creepy Santas, but ultimately it extols the Christmas values we shouldn't be proud of: The crass commercialisation of the Winterval, the breakdown of core family values, and the creepiness of dudes dressed as Santa in shopping centres. Ultimately, the whole film is about a man trying to win back his son's love by buying him toys, which is potentially the worst Christmas vice.

Ho-ho-who's in it?

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ If Arnie wasn't enough for you (and he should be), this film also promises the talents of Sinbad, the kid who played young Anakin Skywalker, and the voice of Troy McClure. They all perform exactly as well as you would expect.

Family fun

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ There's something for everyone! Cool characters, fun slapstick action, and a few jokes that should go way over kid's heads. But Ted, the creepy neighbour, goes a bit too far with his obnoxious advances.

Jingle Bells

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ There are some fantastic musical cues in JATW, and it reels out some Christmas favourites, but as time goes on the soundtrack seems to forget itself and falls back on fairly standard action movie orchestral themes. Not top marks in class, but some rousing seasonal tunes do elate your spirits a chunk.

Overall

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Oh, it's pretty good. It really is. Certainly Arnie's best film of 1996 (though not of the decade). I recommend this for fans of fun, silly films. Particularly of fun, silly Arnold Schwarzenegger films.

I haven't seen that much Sinbad, but I feel pretty confident in saying this is his best work.

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