Santa Claus having an older brother named Fred.
Vince Vaughn playing Fred.
These two ideas were enough to get me to a Saturday morning screening of Fred Claus, the new film that starts next Friday, Nov. 9. This is an early review.
The movie is supposed to be funny. It's not. It's supposed to be cute. It's not. It's supposed to be clever. It's not.
It is something though: a complete mess. Numerous contrived plots and sub-plots, from Fred Claus visiting the North Pole in a vain attempt to borrow a large sum of money from his brother to Kevin Spacey (yes, two-time Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey) as an efficiency expert brought it to improve Santa's North Pole operations by threatening to move the whole gig to the South Pole. There's also a sub-plot about a zany elf named Willie having girlfriend troubles.
Pain and suffering... pain and suffering. I'm feeling for all the moms and dads and aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandpas who will begged by the young ones to take them to see this film. Grown-ups, do the young ones and yourselves a big favor: Watch A Christmas Story instead, even if for the 4 billionth time.
In my screening audience, there wasn't much laughter being invoked -- even with the audience being heavily populated by kids.
This movie will bring in tons of money, no doubt. It's the kind of mainstream crap that promises much more than it delivers.
And it was just recently that I was admiring the excellent performance of Vaughn in Into the Wild. All I can is this: The credibility of the following actors is diminished in my book: Vaughn, Spacey, other Oscar winners Kathy Bates, Paul Giamatti and Rachel Weisz, and Oscar nominee Miranda Richardson. What were they thinking here?
Let there be something good that comes from my pain and suffering. Avoid this movie like the 116-minute plague that it is.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
"Fred Claus" is a 116-minute plague
My freelance review: