December 9, 2002 -- "The Santa Clause 2" is a pleasant holiday diversion, but like most sequels, it is not as good as the original movie.
Tim Allen stars again as Scott Calvin (AKA Santa Claus), an ordinary guy who inherited the job of Santa Claus because he donned the costume after the previous Santa fell off of his roof. The original Santa Clause (as in a legal clause) took effect because he put on Santa's uniform. In this film, Calvin learns of another Santa Clause, a marital clause which states he cannot continue to be Santa Claus unless he gets married before Christmas. As the deadline gets closer a process of "de-Santafication" begins. He starts looking more like the old Scott Calvin and less like Santa Claus. This is handy for courtship purposes.
While Santa is away looking for a mate, a sort of Santa clone takes over at the North Pole. The clone goes crazy and causes a lot of problems. Can Santa find a mate in time to save Christmas? Can he stop the evil Santa clone? Tim Allen is as effective as ever in the role of Scott Calvin. David Krumholtz (head elf Bernard), Eric Lloyd (Charlie Calvin), Judge Reinhold (Dr. Neal Miller) and Wendy Crewson (Laura Miller) all reprise their roles from the first film. There is a minor subplot about Charlie Calvin getting into trouble at school, and a funny subplot about mythical being group meetings, including cupid, the tooth fairy, mother nature, the easter bunny and the sandman. Art LaFleur is very funny as the tooth fairy who wants to change his name to something more manly. Michael Dorn, who played Worf in Star Trek TV series and movies, plays the Sandman. Liliana Mumy, who plays Lucy, is the daughter of Bill Mummy of "Lost in Space" and "Babylon 5" fame.
While the movie is diverting enough, the subplot involving the nutty Santa Claus clone running amok is pretty weak. It makes little sense. The other subplot involving the wayward son, Charlie, is also weak. It exists mainly to facilitate the romance between Scott Calvin and Carol Newman (played by Elizabeth Mitchell of "Nurse Betty"). The romance works pretty well. The production design is also good. The North Pole sets were minimal in the first film. This film shows us a North Pole that looks more magical. Improvements have also been made in the reindeer. The film is not a bad little light romantic comedy, but it isn't as good as the original film. It rates a C+.
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