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Christmas in Wonderland
1 out of 5 stars
Time Out says
1 out of 5 stars
If the wise men behind this supposedly heart-warming monstrosity intended to make a film that lowered the spirit of Xmas to such a level that anyone who saw it would be loathe to buy another present or baste another turkey, then ‘Christmas in Wonderland’ would be a five-star masterpiece. This, sadly, does not appear to be the case. Unless the satire is so well hidden that it would take a search party of particle physicists to locate it, this is – as announced by its brazen, sub-Randy Newman opening song ‘I Feel Like Shopping, It Must be Christmas’ – a booming and hideously calculated hymn to conspicuous consumerism that boasts all the yuletide cheer of a flat tyre. Imagine a pre-teen ‘Trading Places’ in which the old guys win, Dan Aykroyd is appointed US Treasurer and Eddie Murphy is melted down for glue.
Little more than an extended and unapologetic advert for the undoubted charms of a shopping mall in West Edmonton, Alberta – a sort of Canuck ‘Westworld’ – it follows Patrick Swayze as he escorts his three nippers to a cavernous toyshop, only to disappear into a bar to down boilermakers while they mooch aimlessly about and allow the producers the opportunity to show off the mall’s various shops, food courts and ample parking facilities. Can a film be that shameless, you might ask? Yes it can. When, for instance, Santa asks Swayze’s daughter what she wants for Christmas and she tells him that she’d like ‘a million dollars’, you begin to comprehend the odious corporate mindset we’re dealing with. Indeed, a whizz through ‘Wall Street’ on Christmas morn would better rouse your inner philanthropist than this tawdry infomercial.