Run time: 97 mins
Tim Allen dons the red suit in this charming festive fantasy throwback.
Divorced dad Scott has custody of his son on Christmas Eve. After he accidentally kills a man in a Santa suit, they are magically transported to the North Pole, where an elf explains that Scott must take Santa’s place before the next Christmas arrives. Scott thinks he’s dreaming, but over the next several months he gains weight and grows an inexplicably white beard. Maybe that night at the North Pole wasn’t a dream after all…and maybe Scott has a lot of work to do.
This could so easily be a tired, formulaic Christmas special if it wasn’t for Tim Allen. The simply turns the film around. He may not be as instantly appealing as, say, Robin Williams, but he’s full of understated, ticklish charm. Balancing the sugar with the spice, he gets it just right.
Trashy when it needs to be, very funny in fits and bursts, this is another of those that falls under the “New Christmas Classic” banner. You’d have to be a mean ol’ Grinch to have any serious complaints about The Santa Clause.