The Santa Incident (movie review)

On paper, The Santa Incident has a beyond ridiculous premise, yet somehow, the flick kinda works.

If you ever wanted to see a movie where an Air Force jet shoots down Santa’s sleigh as the initial conflict, this is the movie for you. It’s insane, but shockingly, it’s not a complete disaster.

For the most part – you do have the tragically underwritten cartoon bad guys, who are only missing the twirling mustache to complete the cliche. This duo comes from the Home Alone tradition of bad guys, but they’re subjected to less torture. They’re the weakest part of the movie, but the actors committed to their roles and they push the plot along well enough. The performances in this movie are generally passable, AND there’s two kids in this movie. The kid performances are probably above average on the “Kids in a TV Movie” scale, but there’s nothing incredible happening in terms of performance in this movie… except for maybe James Cosmo.

Cosmo plays Nick (Santa), and frankly, I found his take on the character that’s been done a million times refreshing. Santa is written as more of a gruff but kind craftsman and Cosmo nails it. He’s charming, funny and confident – everything Nick says comes to pass. He’s kinda Dumbledore in the way that he uses foresight to manipulate coming events and this guy plays it perfectly. It’s a rare thing Christmas movie miracle where the writing and performance come together.

This movie’s take on Santa and the magic rules in general is, again, kinda great. I liked the idea that Santa has a specific list of superpowers: healing (He’s Wolverine! Santarine, if you will. Logan Claus? Yeah, that’s the one.), he knows what you want for Christmas, he can summon his sleigh only with the representative sleigh bells for each of his reindeer and he has just enough magic left over to make toys, which he can do at a super fast speed. But, he has to collect the raw materials – he can’t just make them materialize out of his butthole. Maybe those rules don’t make a lot of sense, but the movie sticks by them and more importantly, never breaks them.

The movie is generally well executed by it’s cast and crew. The directing, cinematography and overall visual approach works. The above clip is probably the best sequence in the movie – it’s extremely well edited. Good pace and so on, all that jazz. It happens early on in the picture and it got me on the movie’s side right away.

The movie isn’t without its problems: there’s the aforementioned bad guys and other illogical characters; the mom can be especially frustrating. You’d think she’d focus on keeping the kids from hanging around the docks rather than worry about them being on time for school. Jeez lady, get your priorities straight! Anyway, that’s just one example, but then, I don’t think anyone spends too much time writing these Hallmark TV Christmas movie scripts.

This movie should be terrible, but it’s not. Again, it’s a Hallmark made for TV movie about Santa’s reindeer taking a missile up the butt. The Santa Incident sounds crazy (and it is), but in its way, it’s a tight little movie that I kinda enjoyed.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on December 11, 2014, in christmas blog posts, movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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