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FRED CLAUSE, 2007
Movie Reviews!

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FRED CLAUS MOVIE POSTER
FRED CLAUS, 2007
Movie Reviews

Directed by David Dobkin
Starring Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti
Rachel Weisz and Kathy Bates

Review by Eli Manning


SYNOPSIS:

Fred Claus, Santa's bitter older brother, is forced to move to the North Pole.

REVIEW:

Vince Vaughn collaborates with director David Dobkin for the third time, most recently the gigantic hit The Wedding Crashers. This time it's not shock R-rated comedy they are trying to pull off but innocent PG-13 kids comedy. And it's a Christmas movie so they want to make sure there is also that universal funny appeal that will stand the test of time while also telling a story with a great message!

That's the goal they are trying to accomplish and I have to say right off that they did not do it. This is a film with a great 3rd act but it just takes so long to take off and the first 30 minutes are almost a complete bore.

Vince Vaughn does what he usually does these days playing a slacker with a chip on his shoulder. That persona usually translates into some funny moments but he seems lost in this film because he's tied down in a kids movie. And Rachel Weisz, who plays his girlfriend is almost completely wasted which is unfortunate because she is a great talent who can really do some magic.

There are some great moments though, especially a brothers anonymous scene with camoe appearances from Frank Stallone, Roger Clinton and Stephen Baldwin. And both Paul Giamatti playing Santa Claus and Kevin Spacey playing the antagonist corporate efficiency expert are great.

The art direction team should be proud of their work on this film and I really enjoyed the setting of the North Pole. But the story itself doesn't give it any life because it doesn't know what it wants. What Santa's village is this: the 20th century corporate village or the magical village of positivity? They seem to want to show both and not choosing to explore just one thing leads to less laughs and more head scratching.

Overall the entire piece just doesn't add up. And a running time of almost 2 hours seems a bit long for a comedy like this.

2 stars out of 5.

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