Xmas: 'The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause' (2006) Dir. Michael Lembeck
The final chapter in the Walt Disney 'Santa Clause' franchise comes to an end with a clash between some mighty Legendary Figures...
With Carol Claus (Mitchell) expecting a child, Santa Claus / Scott Calvin (Allen) decides to unite the families at the North Pole to help boost spirits.
Envious by Santa’s popularity, Legendary Figure Jack Frost (Short) pretends to help, but really starts creating chaos by sabotaging the festive efforts.
Frost manipulates Santa into the “Escape Clause”, a power that undoes his career as Santa and leave the position open for Frost. Scott must unite his family, save the workshop and take his place as Santa before it is too late…
The themes from the original film has drastically changed over 12 years, and the final chapter proves it. With the shortest running time, this has a very thin plot and tired looking performances that don't really have the passion the original did.
It’s breath of ‘cold’ air comes from Martin Short as Jack Frost, one of the newcomers to the films cast, alongside the amusing and cantankerous Alan Arkin, to inject some fun into things. With an over-the-top but suitably creepy turn as our villain, he gurns and grins and sneaks his way along as only Martin Short can; camp and amusing for all the wrong reasons, but hard not to love.
Tim Allen is clearly devoid of new material and does a basic job, with little heart and passion, as a manic, bumbling and often inept Santa Claus; his turn as Scott Calvin is always better as he gets the chance to do a little more than run around looking stressed, but by now there is little real heart and meaning in the film and just focusing on slapstick gags and very thin sentiment.
The effects are a little cleaner and the set design is always improving film after film with the North Pole now a town rather than just a small underground workshop, and it’s cute and cuddly and Christmassy, but everything else is just a little lazy with no real meat to get stuck into.
It just about avoids being as childish as the second, but still comes over as tired and a little lost for ideas and proves there is little left to tell in this Christmas story.
'The Escape Clause' certainly wraps up the story of Scott Calvin with a sugar-coated finale that is eye-rolling naff, but still sums up a family friendly Christmas theme.
'The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause' is a Walt Disney Pictures / Outlaw Productions / Boxing Cat Films production