Anthony's Film Review
Jingle All the Way (1996)
Although not a true Christmas movie per se, the movie still worked for me...
Jingle All the Way is a movie that many people might criticize for not representing the true meaning of Christmas. I can totally understand where people are coming from with this. Christmas is a holiday that's about love, friendship, family, and sharing. It's about people coming together to share and celebrate the good times in life. Giving gifts can be, and commonly is, part of the holiday tradition as well, because this is how people show their appreciation for those they hold dear. This, of course, has gone so far that it seems shopping for the best gift has become the modern meaning of Christmas.
If you want a Christmas movie about people being together, don't watch Jingle All the Way. Not that I didn't like the movie. I did enjoy it enough. It's simply a comedy that focuses on the not-so-true materialistic meaning of Christmas. I think you can enjoy it if you understand and accept this. Better yet, consider this movie as sort of a satire that pokes fun at people going nuts over the hottest gifts to buy. Look at the movie this way and you won't have any issues with it.
So we have Arnold Schwarzenegger as a father who, despite multiple promises, has so little time for his son. There's nothing real special about this character, because I've seen many movie fathers (and even some real-life fathers for that matter) who are like this. Still, there is something he could do. He knows that his son is a fan of a TV superhero called TurboMan and that the new TurboMan action figure could be the perfect gift.
However, there's a problem. The TurboMan toy is so popular that any store selling it has parents literally fighting in line for it. The movie also co-stars Sinbad as a postman who is a rival for the Schwarzenegger character. Both men are trying to find the TurboMan as a gift for their own son. The situation even goes as far as to involve a fight scene with various Santa Clauses in a warehouse. Again, it's satire of the not-so-true meaning of Christmas, not an assault on the true one.
I will admit that I liked the last part of the movie. I thought the humor in it made up for the somewhat humorous movie up to this point. And I did like how it ended. It was rather creative, not in a brilliant way but enough for me to give a nod of approval. Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, and the rest of the cast did a decent job in the movie. Overall, it's an average holiday movie but still an amusing one.
(If you're still reading, I have an interesting off-topic anecdote. Not too long after seeing this movie in theaters, I myself went shopping for a specific toy that was high in demand: Tickle Me Elmo. I was not successful in getting one, but at least Christmas was still joyful for my family when I made my visit. As you can see, I never forgot the true meaning of Christmas. That's why I say Jingle All the Way doesn't really goes as far as to trample over the holidays.)
For more information about Jingle All the Way, visit the Internet Movie Database.