The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

Remember when Tim Allen cared about his movies? Like in the GOOD Santa clause movie?

Remember when Tim Allen cared about his movies? Like in the GOOD Santa clause movie?

Last time on Spongey444, the Ghost of Christmas past showed Spongey that films from the past can suck, by showing him the crappy Hulk Hogan film Sana with Muscles. Now the Ghost of Christmas present shall show him something that could be just as bad..

The ghost of Christmas present is….ADAM SANDLER?!

Hello!

Oh god, now I want Goldy back!

Oh come on, you know I’m just using this image as a joke

Oh, because Adam Sandler movies from the present have been the bane of this blog for a year now, and thus represents my hate for the present?

…Lucky guess.

So, how is this present stuff going to work?

Well, we want you to get the full idea of what we mean. We want you to understand every era has it’s good and bad films. But we don’t want you to think new stuff is completely redeemable.

So…you are gonna show me a hated Christmas film from the mid 2000’s?

…Stop that.

Well okay but I don’t see the point. Showing me a bad film from the present will only enforce my views!

Look, the boss told me the reason for why this is being done. I don’t agree with it, but I think this may help you get the full picture.

…Fine, whatever.

So back to my point, I will make you watch a movie that will show remind you of the bad stuff the present has to offer.

…What is it?

//

Hello, Spongey here.

There are a lot of great Christmas classics out there. Many make a point to watch National Lampoons Christmas vacation, It’s a wonderful life, and of course the best Christmas film ever made, Santa Claus Conquers the martians.

Those are great, and I watch them too. But there’s another Disney Christmas classic I really enjoy, and watch every year: The Santa Clause.

This 1994 film starred Tim Allen as a guy who becomes Santa Claus after he puts on his suit. This happens cuz Santa died.

Merry Christmas, kiddies!

By the way, he dies by falling off a roof, which happened cuz Tim shouting startled him. That never made sense to me. Anyway, after becoming Santa, Scott Calvin faces kid issues and a very welcome change from the “asshole boyfriend” cliché.

It sweet, funny, and had a nice spin of the Santa myths. But it made money, so a mere 8 years later, we had The Santa Clause 2.

In this one, Santa finds out he has to get married or else he won’t be Santa. They tell him this 8 YEARS LATER, by the way. Other stuff happens, like the elves making a toy Santa for some reason, and some stuff with his son Charlie.

It was mediocre. Not THAT bad, but it wasn’t nearly as good as the first one. The plot was cliche, and all 3 main storylines were uninteresting. But I may do that one another time, so I won’t go into too much detail.

It did have some effort put into it, which puts it above most cash grab sequels. Plus, it actually has some funny moments.

“It’s Charlie”

“Sheen? I thought he straightened out!”

Stuff like that makes it not that bad. It’s mediocre, and close to bad, but not that bad. So you think after that, they would leave it alone.

Nope…they made a 3rd one.

I haven’t seen this one yet, but a lot of people consider it the worst of the series, even from those who like 2 a lot. Though oddly enough, 1 and 3 get aired A LOT on the Disney channel in December….yet 2 is aired very rarely. Why is that?

I don’t know, but I do know that 3 is hated. So of course it’s a perfect target for me! There isn’t much to introduce, as I’ll mention more in the review proper.

But I will mention the crew. We have the genius writers of Disney’s The Wild and Lizzie McGuire the movie! On top of that, the director of 2 returns. What did he go on to do?

Sharpay’s Fabulous adventure

….What.,

Will this top that masterpiece? Well, let’s look at the 2nd insult to a great movie!

This, is The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

We start with the Disney castle logo…which backs up to show us that it is inside a snowglobe being held by Santa. Okay, that’s pretty cool.

The movie proper opens at the North Pole, at a school taught by Mrs. Clause. See, in the 2nd one, Scott hooked up with Charlie’s mean Principal who turned nice for some poorly written reason. At the end, she suggested better education at the north pole, so here we are.

A kid asks her what it was like becoming Mrs Claus and moving to the north pole. Man, and you thought the Judge in Eight Crazy Nights spouted bad exposition. And that is all this bit gives us we abruptly cut to Carol (Mrs Claus) being taken into the hospital cuz she’s having a baby.

But oh look, it was a false alarm. She’s still preggo, it’s just not her time now. I’d ask what sex with Santa is like, but I don’t want to know. This bit exists just to let us know she’s preggo. You wasted 3 minutes my life so far that I will never get back.

So we see her hanging with Santa aka Scott Calvin, again played by Tim Allen. They banter a bit and Santa magics up stuff for the upcoming Baby. But then Bob from Suite life enters, as the doctor.

And then the current head elf comes in. This is Curtis, played by Spencer Breslin, making another amazing career choice. Curtis was a “new” elf in the 2nd one, who pretty much fucked up things for everyone with a toy Santa.

He was under the head elf Bernard, who was snarky and awesome. He even made the 2nd one tolerable. But then, for some dumbass reason, they dropped him out of this movie cuz of “contractual issues”. Or maybe he was waiting to have a small role in a much better Christmas part 3, but I digress.

So now we’re stuck with Spencer, whose acting has improved from Cat in the hat, so there’s that. Curtis does nothing, as Carol bitches at Santa for…something. Apparently Santa has had trouble balancing his wife and his job.

“I hope you’re not delivering when I’m delivering”

Putting Santa in it doesn’t make this cliché any better.

Anyway, Carol misses her family so Santa decides to have them visit. The elves think this is a bad idea cuz revealing Santa’s secret to even more people would be bad.

Wait, where did people think Carol went? She couldn’t have just left without warning. Even if she lied and said she’s off in Alaska or whatever, wouldn’t people check on that? This makes no sense!

Santa decides to go with it anyway.

“My parents think you’re a toymaker in Canada”

Okay, but see my above rebuttal to that. So this sitcom episode is off to a ….start. Santa then talks to the council of legendary figures, which includes the Tooth fairy, easter bunny, and Sandman.

…So in other words, the guardians? Hell Jack Frost is gonna show up in a second!

There’s also Father Time (Peter Boyle in his final role), and Cupid (Kevin Pollak). Also, yes that is Micheal Dorn aka Worf as Sandman. Okay.

They called this meeting to discuss Jack frost. And speak of the devil, he shows up, and he’s played by Martin Short. Jack was called up here cuz he tried to upstage Santa over 200 times. Gee, I wonder who the villain is.

As the cliché goes, Jack is jealous of Santa cuz he’s the “opening” act for him and all that. This is what TV tropes calls a “Designated villain” where the bad guy is only bad cuz he happens to be. I mean, his motivation could make a character in another movie SYMPATHETIC but here it’s applied to a villain who will never turn good.

Then again, TV tropes said it applies to the baddies of Camp Rock 2, who certainty act dickish enough to be bad guys. So take that with a grain salt.

Santa says it’s no picnic being him cuz of Toy troubles and in-law crap. Hey, you invited them, you only have yourself to blame there.

Then by the power of bad exposition, we randomly find out about the titular Escape Clause. It’s not 100 percent explained now though, which means it will come into play later.

Anyway, they sentence Jack Frost to community service around the North Pole. That means he has to work with the elves to work off his sentence and all that. I see nothing bad coming of this. Nope.

After that, Santa visits his ex-wife, her boyfriend, and his daughter and son. I’d like to mention Lucy the daughter is played by none other then Myrtle…and also Rosebud from some of the buddies movies.

She was in the first 2, so I can’t blame it on this one. Then the reindeer farts. Lovely.

Also, Charlie the son is played by Eric Lloyd, who was Blankey in The Brave Little Toaster goes to mars. Repeat actors galore!

Santa tells Laura (the ex-wife) and Neil (her husband, played by Judge reinhold) all that is going on Then Lucy asks to go to the north pole, and she does so in the most precious please kill me way possible.

Then we just cut to the North pole, as they are dressing it up like Canada to keep the lie alive. Wow, now this really is just a bad sitcom episode. We also get Jack being evil again as he tries to get info about the escape clause out of Curtis.

Eventually, he explains that every Santa has his own Snowglobe, which he can use to wish he had never been Santa. He then is taken to a time where he has never become Santa. I don’t have too many questions as I honestly can’t think of anything to contradict this.

But even the first movie had this unanswered question: What happened to that dead Santa? I mean, did he have a family or Mrs Clause? Did someone somehow use the escape clause on hm? EXPLAIN!

Anyway, now that Jack has his ace in the hole, Santa and Sandman visit Carol’s Mom and Dad, the latter of which is played by Alan Arkin. After an out of context line-

“It was a little sticky, but it’s smooth as a baby’s butt now”

-Scott/Santa says he’s here to take them to the airport to get to “Canada”.

“It’s not like we’re going to the north pole”

GET IT. CUZ THEY ARE.

The parents get into an annoying argument, so Sandman puts them to sleep….as in actual sleep, not …dead sleep. So Santa takes the sleeping parents off to the north pole. He also brought the daughter, son, ex-wife and husband dude.

Like moron, the parents are fooled into thinking this is Canada. I mean, even if you back up bad Canadian Stereotypes, it’s still THE NORTH POLE! Anyway, Jack talks to Lucy.

“I’m frost. Jack Frost”

BA-BA-DA-wait…

Anyway, Lucy has never heard of Jack frost….really? I get Jack isn’t respected, but you should have at least HEARD of him!

After that pointless bit,the parents wander around and just think Canada has a lot of short people. I mean, real Canadians have flappy head!

Anyway, then Jack uses his powers to mess with a bunch of machines, which fucks up Santa and the Elves’ day. While this is going on, Jack hangs with Carol’s mom and..

“Will you be my elf?”

Uh….I’m not touching that one. Anyone is Jack frost doing all this? I get that he just wants to fuck with Santa’s sitcom plan, but isn’t the whole escape clause thing evil enough? Santa Christ, these movies always have too much going on.

Anyway, here’s another out of context line:

“Our grandsons are being born in a broom closet in a Canadian toy factory”

Leave it to Alan Arkin to save this movie.

So more bad shit happens, and even worse: Christmas is tomorrow and there is a slim chance of the kids getting their toys, thanks to what Frost did. Okay, now I get it. Frost wants to make Santa’s life hell, so he can get him to do the Escape clause.

Okay, now it makes sense, and while I wish we could have it happen more easily, this is fine too.

Thankfully, Santa is able to fix stuff up and get the workshop back on track,which disappoints Jack. After that, Lucy asks to see Santa’s secret snow globe collection and for the sake of the plot, he’s okay with it.

He shows her the hall of snow globes and that an insanely pwecious scene together. Santa Christ, I can’t escape the precious crap!

They leave but of course Jack was spying on them and sneaks in. But why focus on the interesting part of the plot? Let’s have Santa get pulled away from the family to check the list, making Carol all sad.

“It’s always his busy scene”.

Ugh, this cliché. HE’S FREAKING SANTA! He has to make and deliver toys to over a million kids all over the world! Sorry he can’t make time out of that!

Anyway, Lucy catches Jack with Santa’s snowglobe, and tells on him. Neil and Laura run in but Jack traps them. And course..

“I froze them”

THEY WERE FROZEN TODAY1

There, I said it. Happy?

He doesn’t freeze Lucy cuz….derpy doo, and just makes her stay in some closet and threatens to freeze her if she leaves. Then Jack heads back to the family, as they are setting up the tree.

But Jack messes with it so that it falls once Santa puts the star on top. Of course a trashed star…makes Carol cry.

“Maybe if you weren’t working so hard, maybe you’d know”

Whoa whoa! They were discussing this before he put the star on, but come on. This comes out of nowhere! And it’s cliché to boot!

“You don’t know the pressure I’m under!”

EXACTLY!

But Carol’s parents don’t see it that way, cuz they argue and yada yada. To an extent, this kind of dilemma is interesting and of course it feeds into the escape clause plot, but I can’t help but request that the writers come up with something NOT contrived and poorly written.

To cool off, Santa and Jack hang outside. Jack gives a box (obviously containing his snow globe) as they talk some more. And of course, Jack tricks Santa into saying he had never been Santa at all, while holding the snow globe.

And with that, they are taken to Christmas eve, 12 years ago. They are right there as the last Santa is on the roof. Jack yells up at him, which of course makes Santa fall of and die.

It just hit me that an entire kids trilogy is based on the death of someone. Having fun yet, kids?

Jack puts on the coat, and we taken to the present, in a world where Scott never became Santa and all that. Okay, this is a good idea. It took them 55 minutes, but maybe this will finally get good!

Scott finds himself in some business place, and some dude says Scott never mentions his family and all that. Scott fixes that by visiting Laura and Charlie, but none of them are happy to see him.

Charlie walks away, and Scott asks Laura about Carol….even though he should know this is an AU and thus, he never actually married Carol. Through the power of forced exposition., Laura says Neil got a divorce and he’s been taking Lucy…to the north pole.

See, Jack turned it into a resort and I guess it’s free to visit and stuff. Scott heads there and sure enough, it’s a big resort. OH MY GOD A RESORT HOW EVIL.

“Remember kids, how much your parents love you depends on how much they spend on your presents”

….Oh, okay.

Scott looks at all this blatant commercialism of Christmas in horror. This would strike harder if it wasn’t so forced and overblown..and it wasn’t in a movie that is a blatant cashgrab.

Scott bumps into Neil and Lucy. Neil spouts even more forced exposition as he tells us that in this AU, Scott was never there for Charlie and things got messed up. But they are interrupted by Lucy showing off her inner Myrtle.

Scott bumps into Curtis, and he finds out parents can pay to get their kids on the nice list. I admit, I do like the idea of having Frost make Christmas all commercial and this bit works better than the last bit I just brought up.

Jack shows up in his weird new Santa outfit. It’s implied Jack stayed in that time period and he’s been waiting for Scott for 12 years. So was there a version of Jack frost of somewhere back then that vanished, or what? Time travel is confusing.

Scott tells him off but Jack won’t have any of it. Though all he does is force Scott to watch some show that is going on. Scott spies Lucy and he tells her about the snow globe room, and asks her to get his snow globe.

This is met with Lucy being insanely pwecious. Ugh, gag me with a spoon. So Scott makes a diversion so Lucy can sneak off. Long story short, Lucy gets the snow globe and tosses it to Scott.

…But Jack catches it. That seems to be the end but…

“Nice try. But you’ll never get me to say..”

Scott pulls out a recording of Jack of saying “I wish I had never been Santa at all” when they discussed their issue. I guess Scott went to the Batman Returns school of recording what villains say.

And with that, they are taken back to 12 years ago. Wow, that was so anti climatic it was almost insulting.

But anyway, the race is on to kill a man and take his clothes!

….This movie is messed up.

Thankfully, Past!Scott shows up to kill Santa. Wait, why didn’t past Scott show up last time? I mean they rumbled around about as long as they are now, so what gives?

Also, this is an excuse to show bits of a movie I’d much rather be watching. So Scott rightfully becomes Santa this time and they are taken back to the present.

After experiencing “It’s a Santa-ful life”, Santa hugs it out with Carol. Santa tells us he learned his lesson and how lost sight of what is really important: Carol and his family and blah blah.

He passes this off to Carol’s parents, who apologize for adding to his pressure. Santa says all families bicker, but that just means they love each other. Whatever, we’re almost done.

And so, Santa reveals his secret to his in-laws. They take it well. So well that I question this entire conflict!

“I’m father in law Christmas!”

Anyway, Lucy pops up having escaped from that closet. Oh yeah Neil and Laura got frozen. I kind of forgot that cuz the movie did. So of course, the Elficers (Boo) drag Jack Frost in there.

But as it turns out Jack can’t unfreezing them for some contrived reason. Do we really need this conflict a mere 5 minutes from the end?

So Santa talks to Lucy and she goes over to Jack. What is she gonna do?

…She hugs him, which …unfreezes Jack.

“I’m warming your heart”

‘They told me it couldn’t be done”

“They didn’t have magical hugs”

I didn’t think they could top the tear stuff from Search for Santa paws but they did. …Wow, that was the schmaltziest cop out I’ve ever seen. What the hell was that?!

Yes, some hug from a girl makes Jack Frost a normal guy and unfreezes Neil and Laura. You could have cut out that entire bit so that once Santa gets back home, Jack is arrested and boom , movie over.

But no, you put in a forced conflict has the most diabetes inducing bullshit ever. Screw this.

So the day is saved, Christmas shall come, Jack is good….and the baby is coming. Oh yeah, I forgot about that. They sort of dropped in favor of other crap.

And we abruptly to cut to Carol talking about the big moment to some kids at the class. I would have liked to see the baby being born but who cares about interesting things in this movie?

“Say hello to Buddy Claus/’

Where’s Will Ferrel where you need him?

And with that, the movie ends. A tad abrupt but in this case I don’t care. So ends the most pointless trilogy ever!

Final Thoughts:

To be honest, I don’t have a lot to say for this one. It was…fairly mediocre. It wasn’t as awful as I heard it was, and it wasn’t even that terrible. But at the same time, it didn’t have some of the redeeming factors the 2nd one had.

At times, it just feels kind of tired. Like they only did it cuz the studios wanted it, and nothing else. There are plenty of huge things, and ‘sweet” moments and all that. But somehow, part of it feels kind of…obligatory.

Unlike the 2nd one, we had one interesting plot point but it’s drowned out by the crap we didn’t need. Did we really need to explore Santa being overworked, or stuff with Caroll’s in laws. It just felt like a bad sitcom episode.

I like that idea to an extent, but by the end it felt like of pointless. Also, while Tim Allen is certainty trying, he just feels like he’s going through the motions. This was the point in his career where he really stopped giving a crap, and it shows.

Everyone else is the same. No one is bad, but only Alan Arkin stands out as amusing. Then again he’s always hilarious. Also, the chick playing Lucy is way too sweet at times, and provides the worst moments.

The other notable one is Martin Short. I’m mixed on him. You can tell they wanted to make a great over the top villain that upstages poor Tim Allen. And sometimes, he can be amusing in how evil it is. But other times, he’s just annoying or lame.

I don’t know. I wanted to love him, but I didn’t. Though I did like his plan, if that helps. But the nail in the coffin to both him and this movie is that damn magical hug.

They took an almost passable villain and made him a joke. I am not kidding when I say that this movie went from meh to almost flat out bad with that crap. That was cheesy and just….ugh.

The rest if just meh. There were some dumb parts, but I didn’t really groan that much. But I also didn’t laugh which is the problem. The film gets worse the more I think about it. I mean,. The fact that it didn’t piss me off is kind of an issue.

It shows that the writers didn’t even try to make a memorable film and made this very mediocre stuff. To some, that kind of bland-ness is worse. I don’t agree, but there you go.

What else is there to say? I will admit the film was almost saved by the “Wonder life” ish section as I am sucker for that kind of thing. It’s a neat idea done okay. But then once the climax pops up, that went out the window.

Overall, it’s not awful or painful….but just super mediocre. At least part 2 had some funny lines and all that. Just go watch the first one, it’s MUCH better.

Score: 5/10

Yeah, don’t take that to mean it’s better than Santa with Muscles. They are on par. SWM could be seen as worse but it also made me laugh more. Take that for what it’s worth

///

There, I lived through it. I see that the present is still flawed even though some good stuff exists.

Great, my job is done. Do you see my point?

That modern stuff does kind of suck?

No, you missed the point!

No, you missed the point of the Christmas present part!

Look, the future guy will show you my point, okay?

Oh, this should be fun. Look, I see what you are trying to do but this only reinforced my “Nostalgia-tard’ thing your boss thinks I have.

I’m tired of you. But one more ghost to go, and we’re done, okay?

Great. Bye. …Now to wait….and wait.

Hello!

Oh, hey.

No scream?

I’ve come to expect it now. So let’s get this over with. Let’s see who this Ghost of christmas future is…

Oh no….YOU!

TO BE CONCLUDED …ON CHRISTMAS!

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About Spongey444

I'm 20 and I'm a slightly below average man who can barely spell. I mostly spend my time watching TV and movies, hence why i ended doing a blog all about those things. I tend to have weird tastes, but I like think I'm just fair on things.
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2 Responses to The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

  1. Deepthroat Ghoul says:

    Here’s what Mike Jeavons said about the whole alternate present plot in his review of this movie:

    “This whole scene is such a massive tonal shift and — dare I say it — takes the story back into the realms of being a family movie, and not just a… kid’s film.”

  2. Pingback: Spongey444-The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause | Red Ribbon Reviewers

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