Thursday, December 17, 2015

Movie Review: "Jingle All the Way" (1996)

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Movie"Jingle All the Way"
Director: Brian Levant
Year: 1996
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes

Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has been really wrapped up in his work lately, so much so, he forgot to pick up the new Turbo Man action figure for his son's (Jake Lloyd) Christmas present. Now, on Christmas Eve, Howard sets out on a desperate search to locate the highly popular gift item that is, of course, sold out everywhere.

"Jingle All the Way" is a Christmas comedy that shows what desperate lengths people will go to and how low the population may stoop in order to get that perfect, popular gift for their children. In the tradition of toys like The Cabbage Patch doll and Tickle Me Elmo, Turbo Man is the most popular toy of the Christmas season in this film, and some people are willing to step on their own mother to get one. This is most certainly the case for Howard Langston, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and his foe in commerce Myron Larabee, played by Sinbad, who came from out of nowhere to act for once. Howard has been really busy with work lately, and as a result, he has been neglecting his son Jamie, played by Jake Lloyd. Howard hopes that getting his son the ultimate, perfect Christmas gift will make up for all the times he was too busy to spend time here or there with his son. Of course, since he waited until the last minute to get the Turbo Man doll for Jamie, all this leads to the desperate chaos we constantly see on the news during the post-Black Friday reports where a grown man is filmed pushing over a child to get his hands on a rice cooker being sold at 75% off. In this case, the item in question is far more difficult to find than a rice cooker. In their quest to obtain the unobtainable, the holy grail of Christmas presents, both Howard and Myron kick, punch, bite, and scratch their way through crowds and crowds of people and often resort to despicable, sometimes illegal acts to get their hopeless hands on the toy, up to including an act of terrorism. All of these normally deplorable acts of savagery are played up for comedic value as the violence is all mostly cartoonish and over-the-top in nature. There are some laughs to be had here, but this movie is very silly, much more goofy than seriously funny.

Wanting your kid/kids to have the perfect Christmas present is admirable, there's no doubt about that, but stepping on the heads of strangers and pushing elderly women down to get said present isn't the most endearing quality in a human person. We don't really know if there is ever a time where we really want Howard (or Myron for that matter) to succeed in his task because the actions to get what he wanted were less than that of the proper Christmas spirit. In the end, for some off reason, "Jingle All the Way" is slightly endearing. No one in this movie puts on a stellar performance and the material the actors have to work with is not all that great. Maybe it's just Schwarzenegger's goofy and exaggerated performance coupled with his iconic accent, but we still don't hate this movie at the end of the day.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 17%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching"The Family Stone"

Two years ago, we were watching: "Elf"

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