Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fred Claus

Released: 2007

Reviewed: 12.6.09
Star rating: 3 out of 5

Vince Vaughn (Fred), Paul Giamatti (Nick/Santa), John Higgins (Willie), Miranda Richardson (Annette), Rachel Weisz (Wanda), Kathy Bates (Mother Claus), Trevor Peacock (Papa Claus), Ludacris (DJ), Elizabeth Banks (Charlene), Kevin Spacey (Clyde).

This is the story of Santa Claus told from the perspective of his brother, Fred. Growing up with Nick, Fred comes to resent him but when his life is going down the drain turns to him for help. Nick agrees but requires Fred to come to the North Pole where the sibling rivalry rises to a new level.

I didn't have many expectations considering Vaughn was the main character and this film met every one of them. Realizing it is a film for kids I'll try to temper my comments a bit. The story is interesting though the plot is about as well developed as a 5 yr olds idea of sharing toys. Although a kids movie, I'd question what it shows kids since Santa is portrayed as a normal guy with corporate restraints. Some of the mystery may dissolve depending on what you have made your kids believe so far. The comedy is fairly simplistic due to intended audience though there are some good laughs.

Acting was okay. Vaughn just seems to be the same in every role, though he is somewhat funny at times. Giamatti was decent and seemed to have good chemistry with Vaughn. Spacey was interesting in his role and brought a totally different element to the film.

Camera work, sets and background were all nicely done as was the CGI and effects. Dialogue was silly for the most part while sound was well done with a decent supporting soundtrack.

Overall a film that teens and younger kids will probably enjoy while being hit or miss with adults. Some mild language and rude humor but otherwise nothing to restrict audience age. If you are searching for a Christmas story you haven't seen before give it a shot otherwise there are better laughs out there so move on.

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