Doesn't Take Flight
As a child Jerry McNeil (Richard Thomas) believes he was saved by a flying reindeer when he was falling from a tall tree and over the years he has a carried a secret obsession with seeing a flying reindeer again. Now as a respectable professor with a wife and child Jerry finds his obsession rekindled when handed an old book by one of his students about flying reindeer and it affects his work and marriage. But when Jerry decides to fly the routes shown in the book he not only sees a flying reindeer, he suffers a crash and amongst many unusual things he meets Nick (Beau Bridges) at his fantastical home at the North Pole.
I've mentioned this before; I am Richard Thomas fan having become fond of him in "The Waltons" when I watched it as a child. Now when you combine an actor I like with the genre of Christmas movies, which I love, and the result should be must watch TV. Sadly that is not the case when it comes to "Flight of the Reindeer" a movie which has at times a great look but for the most is surprisingly uninteresting and often forced.
The thing is that "Flight of the Reindeer" ticks the boxes; a workaholic father who ends up in an accident, his wife and daughter searching for him, a visit to the North Pole where said father gets to learn what is important when it comes to his life and on top of that lots of forced comedy which should make young audiences laugh such as Santa's sleigh having a near miss with a plane. But for me it all felt not only too familiar with elements I have seen in plenty of other Christmas movies but too forced with Richard Thomas often delivering a ridiculously over the top performance.
Ironically having watched "Flight of the Reindeer" because it was a Richard Thomas movie it ended up Beau Bridges, under hair which would make his brother Jeff jealous, who made the movie. Beau made for a surprisingly decent Santa and combined with the great North Pole set decorations he gave the movie the Christmas which it needed to be tolerable when so much of it was forced.
What this all boils down to is that "Flight of the Reindeer" ended up too over the top for me but it also ended up too familiar which unfortunately really lets it down especially when it has such a good look.