JINGLE ALL THE WAY

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
DECEMBER 26, 2013

Despite now being a classic Christmas film and despite being set in my home state of Minnesota, “Jingle All The Way” is not a great Christmas film. Capturing the angst of a parent needing to get the most popular toy for his child on Christmas Eve, the morals are down and dirty, not providing for much comedy and instead just lays sorely on the mob mentality notion of Christmas. Had the main role been played by anyone other than Arnold Schwarzenegger, I think I could have enjoyed the film more. Bumbling around from set piece to set piece, the only time he should feel right for the part is in the Turboman suit, and even then, they make him a bumbling mess. Also, had he been a divorced father trying to win back his wife and kid, I could have sympathized more, but instead, he’s a “happily” married man who simply isn’t there for his kid and to be perfectly honest, never actually is throughout the entire film. Yes, you can argue that once he gives up and heads to the parade to be with his family, he then falls into the Turboman role and saves Christmas, but even then, he’s hardly there for the kid. “Jingle All The Way” is just one scene after another of parents pushing and shoving to get their kid a toy, sometimes in a small mall, sometimes in the Mall Of America. The parade climax would have been much better cut down to five or ten minutes, but instead captures a third of the film, including an overly long scene with a jet-pack that I wish I could forget. The sad truth is that I’ll probably watch this Christmas film more times than I would like because it still captures at least an essence of the holidays, but apart from that, “Jingle All The Way” is a dud.

RELEASE DATE
November 22, 1996

DIRECTOR
Brian Levant

WRITTEN BY
Randy Kornfield
Chris Columbus

STUDIO
20th Century Fox

PG
(for action violence, mild language and some thematic elements)

COMEDY
FAMILY

89 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Victor J. Kemper

COMPOSER
David Newman

EDITOR
Kent Beyda
Wilton Henderson
Adam Weiss

CAST
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Sinbad
Phil Hartman
Rita Wilson
Robert Conrad
Jim Belushi
Martin Mull
Laraine Newman
John Rothman
Chris Parnell
Verne Troyer
Danny Woodburn

PRODUCED BY
Chris Columbus
Michael Barnathan
Mark Radcliffe

BUDGET
$75 million

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