Friday, November 17, 2023

Dashing Through the Snow: Movie Review

Off-kilter but adds something new to Santa Claus.
Dashing Through the Snow is weird and off-kilter for most of it, but it also has a sense of fun and something for the whole family. Eddie (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges) is separated from his wife, has a daughter, and is a social worker who spends his time helping others who are less fortunate. He’s spending Christmas Eve with his daughter until he catches a guy breaking into his neighbor’s house.   2023

Directed by: Tim Story

Screenplay by: Scott Rosenberg

Starring: Lil Rel Howery, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges

The guy’s probably a thief, except he got stuck in the chimney and he claims his name is Sinter Claus, also known as Santa Claus, but you can call him Nick. Either way, he’s definitely a mentally unstable person so Eddie wants to take him to the police station (more on that later) but what should be a simple trip turns into a chase around the city by the mayor’s henchmen and a family of “Santa Finders” with Nick proving at every turn that he likely really is Santa Claus. It seems weird and off-kilter because this isn’t a childish movie (it’s family friendly without being immature or dumbed down) and yet most of the time Eddie is presented as the weird one for not believing in Santa Claus, but the tone does even out a lot better towards the end.

The police do not have a significant role in this, but the filmmaker’s are also trying to “both sides” the defund the police debate. Eddie is a social worker who tries to help the mentally ill and repeats consistently that he’s not the police – the exact type of person society needs more of in the pro-defund argument. We don’t need cops showing up with guns for a person who’s suicidal. But Eddie also has a lot of faith in the police and the movie only likes showing us the good side and how Eddie relies on them. But I, and a lot of people, have a hard time seeing how they’re going to help in this case. Assuming Nick is not Santa Claus, and is indeed a robber, he had not stolen anything, and with no evidence the police are just going to send him back to the streets. Accomplishing nothing.

Lil Rel Howery presents a really interesting side of Santa Claus. Most movies want to show a nice jolly father figure, capitalizing on the nice and friendly image. But here, Santa is smart, like book smarts and street smarts, he’s not just about reading people, but providing people with knowledge. It’s often wrapped up in a little joke, but he’s a Black, smart, and helpful Santa.

Dashing Through the Snow has a weird tone for most of the movie which hampers the comedy, but there is something here for all audiences.

This is a big weekend for Christmas movies on the streamers with Netflix's Best. Christmas. Ever! out on Thursday and Amazon Freevee’s EXmas on Friday.

Best. Christmas. Ever! is a mess of cynical comedy void of any Christmas cheer and instead replacing it with jealousy, animosity, grief and depression.

EXmas is aiming at a more mature audience and hits with the right comedic tone.

Want a different Christmas movie or just more holiday-themed movies? Holiday Movies