This month in The Vault we are looking at some of the best, and I am sure WORST Christmas movies around and we start with a real cracker. Jingle All The Way is the story of one man trying to buy his sons love by getting him an action figure which, like the revival of Furby a few years back, is in no way going to be available on Christmas Eve. NOW there are spoilers in this review of the film as I will be giving you more or less the whole plot, so BEWARE as you read.
Lead by muscle enthusiast Arnold Schwarzenegger as workaholic father Howard Langston the film starts off with Howard missing his son Jamie's (played by Jake Lloyd of Star Wars Episode One fame) Karate lesson where the boy got his Purple belt. With his son disappointed with him Howard promises to get him the one thing the boy wants for Christmas, a Turboman doll. This films focus is on the doll which is based of a Power Rangers style hero named Turboman, and the problem which will become VERY clear to Howard which is that Popular toys around Christmas sell out. A toy he was meant to pick up weeks before.
Howard rushes to the toy store the next day where he meets down on his luck crazy postman Myron, Played by Sinbad who you will probably not remember from the 90's movie scene. Myron becomes the villain of the piece as he himself wants a Turboman as well. Obviously getting the doll isn't going to be easy, HA you fool how could you think that, of course it is out of stock which leads to a wild chase to various places around the town, including a dodgy warehouse of Santas lead by Jim Belushi, a shady fellow who promises Howard a doll only for it to be a spanish rip off. A fight begins, Howard has to fight a giant, The Giant Paul 'WWE Superstar Big Show' White but then the police arrive and Howard tricks the police with a fake police badge....as you do.
While this is going on Howard's wife Liz, played by Rita Wilson Star of Girls and the actress wife of hollywood legend Tom Hanks, is being pursued by apparent eligible bachelor Lionel Hutz....i'm sorry I mean Ted, played by Phil Hartman the voice of Simpsons characters Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure, who tries to get into Liz's pants thoughout the whole film with his poison dripping in the earness. Ted is a creep, a HUGE creep and he plays the secondary problem to Howard's already screwy day really well. my only problem is that I can only hear Lionel Hutz and that just makes me laugh.
After fighting Santas and chasing a bouncing ball around a mall Howard thinks that his chances of getting a Turboman doll have failed. He meets up with Sinbad in a little cafe and they ponder the sadness like the end of an episode of The Apprentice. WAIT! on the radio they have a competition to win a doll! and they the race starts again leading to an awkward breaking into a mans radio office, a postal bomb and a gift certificate. After reaching a new low, and punching an animal in the face, Howard realizes he may have just ruined Christmas for his family as they head to the Christmas Parade with Ted and not him, which leads to some uncomfortable advances from Ted. So Howard has a drink with his Antlered chum and realizes that family is more important than just a silly old doll and rushes to the parade where he unwittingly ends up in a Turboman costume with the chance to give a lucky member of the crowd one of the dolls! finally he gets to give his son a Turboman, but alas Myron appears dressed as Turboman's nemesis which leads to a dangerous near death chase between Myron and Jamie with Howard using the costumes jet pack.....just go with it......saving his son and stopping Myron who is carted away by the cops. In a final act of Christmas spirit Jamie actually gives Myron the doll, as e has the real Turboman right there.
Arnie does what alot of the big action stars just couldn't pull of and that is the family comedy film. Jingle All The Way is a proper christmas classic, it has the slapstick for the kids, the arnie for the dads....and the mums and the all important thing CHRISTMAS. It fits in well today with how big superhero films are and has aged surprisingly well considering.
If you want a funny, action packed film the whole family can sit down to this holiday season then this should be on your christmas list.
This film is a Classic!