Overblown like most family film sequels, the second “Santa Clause” film tries to do too many things all at once and never truly succeeds in any particular area.
That’s not to say this FX heavy tale isn’t without its charming moments as a solid cast and some of the more adult-aimed jokes (such as a ribbing of Charlie Sheen) will appeal to a wide audience base but for the most part this is even more kiddie-oriented than the original.
Tim Allen does his usual schtick but keeps busy in several different roles including the weakest subplot of the film – the old evil twin standby. Allen’s type of comedy is suitable for the material and he makes various scenes flow faster than you would expect. Despite a way too fast character change, Elizabeth Mitchell makes an enjoyable female lead and her early word-sparring scenes with Allen are quite fun.
One of the more memorable scenes is a conference of famous historical figures portrayed by great comic actors like Aisha Tyler (Mother Nature), Peter Krause (Father Time) and Kevin Pollack (Cupid). The rest of the cast are more background figures than anything, though Spencer Breslin gets a fun role as second elf Curtis and outshines Eric Lloyd’s work as Allen’s son Charlie.
The father-son losing contact subplot is one of about dozen going on all at once and many of them never get more than a skip over. The search for Mrs. Claus remains the strongest with some nice romantic scenes and a great comic moment with the awesome Molly Shannon. However there’s also stories about temperamental reindeer which aren’t good for anything including gags.
The script is over written and in desperate need of better pacing, especially when combined with its over reliance on special effects sequences. Its slickly made, predictable entertainment so you’ll know what you’re getting.