Three years ago, the 24 days leading up to Christmas, Strangers and Aliens presented 24 Christmas movies that aren’t Christmas movies, but really kind of are, for various reasons. And now, we’re doing it again! Here’s 24 more Christmas movies that are set around Christmas or use Christmas to set tone or set up a theme . . . but weren’t made to be Christmas movies . . .
#25 — Last Action Hero
What it’s supposed to be: A commentary on the evolution of action movies? A commentary on the disparities between action movies and real life? A love letter to action movies? A little bit of all of the above?
Why it’s a Christmas movie: It’s a movie that Shane Black wrote (or initially wrote), therefore it will feature Christmas. (In a Den of Geek interview, he explained why: “Christmas is fun. It’s unifying, and all your characters are involved in this event that stays within the larger story. It roots it, I think, it grounds everything. At Christmas, lonely people are lonelier, seeing friends and families go by. People take reckoning, they stock of where their lives are at Christmas. It just provides a backdrop against which different things can play out, but with one unifying, global heading. I’ve always liked it, especially in thrillers, for some reason. It’s a touch of magic.”)
Anyway, the opening scene of the movie is actually a movie-within-a-movie, which is an action movie taking place at Christmas time. The over the top dialogue and action play out against a backdrop of Christmas lights and trees, as Schwarzenegger’s character, Jack Slater, performs superhuman law enforcement.
The rest of the movie is about a kid who magically travels into the Jack Slater movie and his misadventures there, and then the misadventures as Jack Slater and his archenemy crossover into the real world, via a magic ticket.
Thoughts: This was a movie that I hadn’t seen until just a year or so ago. I had heard people talk about how bad it was, and when I watched it I found myself sort of liking it. Sort of. Do not get me wrong: this is NOT a great movie. It doesn’t know if it is a kids escapist fantasy or an adult satire of the action movie genre.
Even if it DID pick a lane to drive down, the jokes are hit and miss and it’s way too long.
Is It Naughty or Nice? Like I said: this is not a great movie. Some of the jokes are good, some of the satire works, but the length and the number of times the jokes fall flat mean I can only give it this…
Santa Ben’s Verdict:
Your verdict? Let me know below in the comments!
Previous: Citizen Kane
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