We went this weekend to see The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, the latest and (hopefully) last installment of this series. This is a tough film for me to review. Mostly because, if I gave you a review based solely on what I thought of it as a film. It would… let’s just say, I wouldn’t be giving it a glowing review. And I have to keep in mind that this is a film geared to be “family” so that the kids can enjoy it as well. And LatteGirl loved it. So we have a mixed bag of review within the family.
For kids, the action and eye candy is enough to keep them entertained. Martin Short as Jack Frost was soft enough a villian that the kids could dislike him, but not so much so that they feared him to the detriment of the film (much like the aliens were a bit too scary for a lot of smaller kids in Chicken Little). The 1-1/2 hour time frame might be a bit long for them, but should be just enough to keep their attention throughout.
Now from an adult viewpoint (and for the record my wife disagrees… so as she puts it, “from my highly critical and unforgiving” point of view). They did some awful things to this movie. First of all, you immediately miss Bernard. The “Number 2” elf from the last movie becomes “Number 1” and he can’t carry it. Charlie is nothing but an afterthought and side role in this film. The jokes… what few there are, seem either forced… or just plain unfunny. They obviously ran out of sweater and psychologist gags for Rheinhold’s character and make him even more strange, but sadly less funny than previously. Tim Allen is as good as in this one as he has been in any of the films, but it is not enough to save this.
The last 20 minutes of the film has all the action, and the first hour and ten minutes feels like an eternity. Too much setup for too little.
Is it truly terrible? No. But I would really suggest waiting until DVD. There is nothing in this that you will miss in the conversion to the small screen.