‘The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two’ Review: Meet the Clauses


If Mrs. Claus designed Santa’s Village, why isn’t it called Mrs. Claus’s Village? Kate (Darby Camp) gets stuck on this oversight in “The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two.” Other questions seem more urgent. If Santa can conjure dollhouses and electric guitars out of thin air, why does he need to purchase triple A batteries? And when a time machine appears in his sleigh, it’s a wonder Santa doesn’t rewind time to before a disgruntled elf swipes his Village’s power source.

But such snags can’t spoil the holiday spirit of this sugary, busy Netflix sequel. The story picks up two years after the first movie as Kate, now a pouty teenager, is trying to avoid spending Christmas Eve with her mom’s boyfriend’s son, Jack (Jahzir Bruno). Before long, a twist of fate thrusts Kate and Jack into the North Pole, where the pair — as well as the grown-ups watching — get a treat: a day with Santa (Kurt Russell) and Mrs. Claus (Goldie Hawn).

Like its predecessor, in which Kate traverses North America delivering presents, “The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two” trades in child fantasy. Once in the snowy square of Santa’s Village, Kate and Jack never want to leave — and who could blame them? The director, Chris Columbus, fills the Village with marvels: toy factories, storybooks, a swarm of beatific elves. Even dinner with the Clauses is a feast of dessert; Mrs. Claus explains that her recipes pack cake and brownies with the nutrition children need.

Kid-friendliness extends to the story’s darker edges. Bad guys are pranksters, crossbows shoot foam darts and wickedness is no match for Christmas warmth. As Kate and Jack’s adventures turn to lessons in love and courage, the movie starts to feel mechanical, like the Village’s churning candy cane mill. But its output is always as sweet.

The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two
Rated PG. Running time: 1 hour 52 minutes. Watch on Netflix.



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