We have grown and advanced so much in the last 20 years as a culture. From technology to research habits - heck, even the way we do something as simple as Black Friday. It used to be we’d get up early the day after stuffing our stomachs full of turkey and eyes full of football and go shopping. All of that has changed within the most recent years with some of the stores opening up as early as four in the afternoon. Consequently, as we’ve evolved as a culture, so have our taste for toys.Which begs the question, does something like Jingle All the Way work in today’s market? Or really as a film at all?
Jingle All the Way tells the story of a workaholic father who waits until the last possible minute to get his son the hot toy of the season for Christmas - and the hunt ensues. There is so much about this film that just doesn’t translate well. Whether you’re addressing the over acting of some of the actors, the multiple story arcs that have no inherent value to overall plot or the way the plot envelopes the negative aspect of Murphy’s law.
I would imagine that a parent hunting for the hot toy has to be stressful but I don’t what’s worse the stress of the hunt or the stress of this film. Sinbad, another father similar to Schwarzenegger’s character, Howard, delivers some of the most cringe worthy moments in the film. Just about over acting at every chance he gets. Playing a “postal” mail man to every stereotype in the book, probably doesn’t help either. At least, Schwarzenegger is subtle in his acting here. Then there is Phil Hartman, the divorced neighbor of Howard’s family and womanizer who wants Howard’s wife. Hartman has some humorous moments throughout the film but ultimately brings nothing to the table except distractions. His arc throughout the film doesn’t do anything for the movie except embrace the negative nature of Murphy’s law. Which is essentially what this film thrives on. Everything that can go wrong, does go wrong.
As much as there is wrong with this Jingle, it’s not arriving under the tree without charm. There is almost an innocence brought to the film when you’re experiencing it through the heart of Howard’s drive. The humor does hit at times and it hits well. Some moments with the over acting of the film make you unintentionally start to laugh a loud. The core of the film warms the heart strings along the way.
Overall, Jingle All the Way, is a film that aims to laugh at the more stressful side of the Holidays Presenting a heart warming story of a father trying to give his son the best and making the audience experience genuine humor. That’s not to say, it’s not without it moments that deserve to have it return to sender. It’s fully equipped with overacting, plots of no value and the negative nature of Murphy's law. This one might be best with a receipt.
FINAL SCORE: 2 / 5
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