Fred Claus | Chicago Reader

Fred Claus

Does Santa have to worry about IEDs when he lands in Baghdad? Is the homeland secure when a sleigh can circle the nation's skyscrapers? And where will Santa go when the polar ice caps have melted? Sorry—I can't get my mind right to enjoy this dully innocuous kiddie movie. Vince Vaughn is Saint Nick's disreputable older brother, a Chi-town repo man who calls his jolly sibling looking for bail money and gets drafted to help out with the year's gift giving. Like so many secular, big-studio Christmas comedies, this isn't naughty enough to be funny or nice enough to be uplifting; it's just an ugly sweater from a distant relative, thoughtlessly sent and destined to be thrown away. David Dobkin directed; with Paul Giamatti, Rachel Weisz, and Kevin Spacey. PG, 116 min.

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