Jingle All the Way (1996) starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson, Jake Lloyd, James Belushi directed by Brian Levant Movie Review

Jingle All the Way (1996)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle All the Way (1996)

Sinbad and Schwarzenegger's Christmas Jingle

Despite others saying contrary I actually think Arnold Schwarzenegger is not that bad when it comes to comedy with his exaggerated, strained facial expressions that make him look a little constipated as well as his knack of poking fun at his on screen persona of being the big tough guy. It's more a case that he's made some poor decisions when it comes to the comedies he's chosen to appear in, which is most definitely the case when it comes to the one gag marathon, "Jingle All the Way", a movie so lacking in storyline that anyone above the age of 13 will probably find it excessively repetitive and drawn out.

Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger - Eraser) is a busy mattress salesman, so busy that he forgets to go and watch his son Jamie's (Jake Lloyd - Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace) Karate lesson. Desperate to make it up to him he learns that Jamie has asked Santa for a Turboman doll, something which he had also forgot and failed to get. Unfortunately it's Christmas Eve and with Turboman being the must own toy this Christmas all the shops are sold out. So Howard must search all over town to find one competing with all those other parents who have left it too late, especially postman Myron (Sinbad - Houseguest) who is equally as desperate to find a Turboman.

Sinbad as Myron in Jingle All the Way (1996)

On the simplest level "Jingle All the Way" is entertaining even amusing as Howard and Myron battle each other to get to the last Turboman doll but then suffers for the simple reason that it only has the one joke, the desperate antics of Howard and Myron. It's an amusing premise, maybe better suited to a sitcom episode than a full blown movie because it ends up just a repetitive onslaught of the same joke worked into a range of set piece scenes. It's a shame as the over the top antics of Schwarzenegger and Sinbad are indeed a little fun, until you realise that's all there is to watch in the movie.

Saying that there are scenes in "Jingle All the Way" that are very good such as Schwarzenegger being attacked by a less than friendly reindeer, except that these scenes are few and far between. What we do get is an onslaught of slapstick and madcap antics which will probably amuse a young child but fail to deliver anything in the least bit entertaining for any adults sat watching this with them.

It's sad really that a movie which shows a sort of glimpse at the commercialism of Christmas with children demanding a certain gift for Christmas, the insane marketing of the toy as well as acknowledging the state of modern family life where the father is too busy working that it ends up ignoring the depth for slapstick farce. This could have turned into a clever and witty look at modern Christmas rather than the one joke wonder it ended up being.

As performances go well as already said I like Schwarzenegger in comedies and here again he happily pokes fun at himself with his ineptness, it's just he suffers because of the repetitive nature of the movie. The same can be said for Sinbad as Myron, who whilst never being one of my favourite comedians suffers because of the same one joke humour. Strangely the characters although completely different due to their back grounds come across as being indistinguishable because they end up the same, two frantic dads willing to do anything to get the Turboman doll.

As for supporting performances, well they are just that, supporting and fall into the background. Rita Wilson is underused as Liz Langston and Jake Lloyd comes over as quite an annoying brat as the son Jamie, or that may be because the movie lacks so much that he comes over that way.

What this all boils down to is that "Jingle All the Way" is slightly amusing, but it's also repetitive because it uses the same old joke over and over again. I am sure young children will find the slapstick and face pulling good fun but other than that it has very little too offer especially to any adults who end up having to watch "Jingle All the Way" with a child.

Tags: Christmas Movies