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Five Stars for pure fun!
on November 20, 2002
Yes, "Jingle All the Way" is chock full of bad acting and ridiculous situations, but hey, it's a Holiday comedy, and a darn good one! And for those of us who are really into Christmas shopping and have been on that search for the elusive "must have toy of the year," it really touches a nerve!
Arnold Schwarzenegger plays Howard Langston, a workaholic father who's failing with his family. He is constantly breaking promises and missing family events, simply by being absent minded and overly concerned with his business. When he shows up far too late for his son Jamie's Karate presentation, he realizes he's got some major sucking up to do. Howard immediately offers to get his son anything he wants for Christmas as a quick fix. But little does Howard know that the toy Jamie wants, the official Turbo Man action figure, is the hottest toy of the season! No stores in town have one! And tomorrow is Christmas Eve!!!
Howard gets an early start in the morning, arriving at a toy store that hasn't opened yet and already has a large crowd outside. Here he meets his biggest competition, an unstable mailman named Myron (Sinbad). Myron is also an inexperienced shopper who's son has asked for a Turbo Man figure. Both men are shocked and angered when everyone in the store mocks them upon hearing what they are looking for, and this is where their heated rivalry begins. Howard and Myron bump into each other at location after location in their search for the evasive toy, and continue to physically abuse each other at nearly every encounter, and every bit of it is quite hilarious! And in addition to dealing with Myron's attacks while searching for Turbo Man, Howard has to keep tabs on his intrusive neighbor, Tim (Phil Hartman), who is continuously making plays for Howard's wife, Liz (Rita Wilson). It's not as confusing as it sounds, but it's a lot for a man to have to worry about on Christmas Eve when he's gotta meet his family at a parade later on that same day.
"Jingle All the Way" is a great Christmas adventure that is full of laughs and mayhem! It's not supposed to be "It's A Wonderful Life," it's just supposed to be funny! And it is, if you have any sort of sense of humor at all, and any experience with last minute shopping during the Holiday Season! Arnold Schwarzenegger is still not a great actor, but he plays the role of a helpless, inexperienced shopper rather well, and this is probably my favorite of all his movies that I've seen. Sinbad is great as nutty mailman Myron, and Phil Hartman steals the movie as Tim, the seemingly perfect single dad that all the neighborhood women want, but who only has eyes for Liz. And upon repeated viewings, Jake Lloyd (who plays Arnold's son) isn't as annoying as everyone says. "Jingle All the Way" may not be as magical as "Miracle On 34th Steet," but it still qualifies as an annual MUST WATCH Christmas movie for this viewer, and probably many others! Heck, I've already seen it twice this year, and it's still a week till Thanksgiving!