We have breaking news that just days before Christmas there are several reindeer running loose through the streets of London.
Reports are not entirely clear but it seems that Santa Himself (Jim Broadbent) may have crash-landed in the capital city while test-driving his new sleigh and has potentially been arrested, which could be very bad news for the children of the world getting presents this year.
This is the fun scenario of Get Santa (not in any way a festive sequel to Get Carter) from British director Christopher Smith. Get Santa sees young Tom (newcomer Kit Connor) excited to have his father Steve (Rafe Spall) released from prison where he’s been serving time for being a getaway driver. Santa has picked this broken family to help him get back to Lapland and save Christmas, but can Steve and Tom break him out of jail, find his reindeer and get the magic sleigh running again?
Smith has a track record for making genuinely creepy horror films, so it’s a bit of a departure for him to be creating a family friendly film. He’s aided by having Ridley Scott on production duties.
Get Santa manages to tick the boxes of being a fun Christmas comedy that is actually funny, and not too slushily sentimental. The biggest laughs for me came from seeing Santa trying to adapt to life on the inside, acting tough with his beard and hair in cornrows.
There’s a real British feel to the whole thing and for once that doesn’t mean ‘cheap’ or ‘not up to Hollywood standards’. The cast, which includes Stephen Graham, Warwick Davies and Jodie Whittaker, keep the action moving nicely.
The film keeps a good balance of slapstick throw-away humour and heartfelt life lessons about father/son bonding.
It may not be remembered as a classic, but if you channel your festive spirit this will keep the whole family amused.