Summer of Schwarzenegger - "Jingle All The Way" (1996)
So, I know this movie has a special place in a lot of peoples' hearts, so even if I disagree with positive opinions of it, I'm going to be respectful. I understand that, ultimately, I shouldn't be so hard on a Christmas movie that's aimed at kids, and that maybe I'm just a bit too cynical for something like this. If you like this movie, good on you! Let's agree to disagree.
Nah, just kidding. This movie is about as fun as a root canal on Christmas Eve.
I'll be honest: this was one of those Arnold movies that was so bad, I almost didn't finish it. Like Hercules In New York, The Villain or Raw Deal. Or Junior. Yeah, those. Those movies that are often considered some of the worst blemishes on Arnold's career. Personally? This is worse. This has nothing going for it. Not even the late, great Phil Hartman can manage to make this movie anything less than a schmaltzy exercise in pointless bullshit that starts off bad, then somehow, manages to nosedive into some of the least pleasant 40 minutes I've ever spent watching a movie. No joke.
Jingle All The Way is about some guy (Harold, I think his name was,) who's a really shit father. He's never home on time from work, he doesn't make an effort to hang out with his son, Anakin Skywalker, and he probably doesn't put out for his wife anymore, I guess. Point is, he sucks, and everyone gets a chance at telling him he sucks at some point. His wife, his son, his neighbor, a policeman, toy store salespeople, and even Sinbad! Ha! See, he's an absentee father and overworking to provide for his family and is having a hard time connecting with them! Isn't he the fucking worst? Isn't he a total garbage disposal unit? Yeah, man, screw him!
Anyway, Gerald/Harold/Whofuckingcaresld wants to be a good dad to Anakin, and so to make it up to him for missing his karate test, he vows to buy him the hottest toy of the season. Only thing is, it's Christmas Eve, and it is, once again, the hottest toy of the season. As in, people are ransacking stores, trampling on each other, and generally being fucking idiots over what's one of the shittiest-looking action figures I've ever seen. Like, no joke, this Turbo-Man action figure that all the kids want is total shit. There's barely any articulation, the paint job is garbage, and the detailing is awful. Just awful. Bet there's not even any alternate hands or accessories. Maybe I should stop comparing every toy to Japanese toys, though. Anyway. Kid wants action figure, so Arnold wants action figure, and Arnold tries to get action figure. Antics happen. Arnold gets in a fight with an army of Santa Clauses, rides through the air in a jetpack, fights a reindeer and...
You know, no. I can't. I just can't. I can't keep describing the plot.
This movie is just fucking awful, okay? I don't even understand how anyone can remotely enjoy this. Like, good for you, if you can watch this, and go, "yeah, you know, I genuinely enjoyed spending that 90-120 minutes of my life that I can never get back on this movie." I'm happy for you. Me? This movie just reminds me that I'm going to die one day. I'm going to be on my death bed, looking back, and say, "shit, man, I might have 90ish more minutes of my life left if I hadn't watched Jingle All The Fucking Way!" But then it'll be too late! I can't get that time back. I can't undo watching this movie. And if I had the ability to undo things, then shit, why not go whole hog and ensure this movie never got made? That'd be an alternate timeline I could live with.
What makes this movie so bad, you ask? Well, uh... how about literally everything? Arnold is horribly miscast. Sinbad is just annoying. Anakin is cloying in that "I want to punch a small child" kind of way. The plot just meanders along until it randomly goes off the rails, leading the last half of the movie into a flaming tailspin that culminates in one of the most moronic climaxes I've ever witnessed. And to top it all off? It's a Christmas movie, and those generally suck to begin with. So, on top of everything else being the actual equivalent of eating coal, we have to listen to Christmas music the whole time.
Look, I keep bringing up, and that's because I can't stop thinking about it: the ending. The horrible cinematic enema of an ending. Most of the movie is pretty silly, hi-jinks-y kind of stuff. "Oh, haha, Arnold beats up some Santas." "Oh, haha, Sinbad left a live explosive with police officers and could have killed." But, really, it's just about a dude trying to get his get a toy. And then, it just goes off the deep end. Arnold ends up being in a parade, dressed as this Turboman guy, and ends up flying through the city in a jetpack. Like, out of nowhere. Just look at this.
All that stuff actually happens (aside from all the stupid editing the uploader decided was just too hilarious and original to leave out) in an actual movie that got actual funding to become an actual reality with actual actors who actually read the script and actually agreed to be a part of this actual assheap. Out of left field, Arnold gets a jet pack and flies around and... yeah. It's just bad. Flatout bad. Total garbage.
Like the rest of Jingle All The Way: garbage. Again, you know, if you like this movie, I'm not saying you can't. That's your prerogative. I'm glad you see something in this that I don't. You're probably one of those people who legitimately thinks Space Jam is a good movie and tries to "win me over" despite the only good things in that whole shebang being Lola "Bunny Boobs" Bunny and Bill Murray. Point being, I'm glad somebody likes this, because then, at the very least, it wasn't a total waste of time for everyone involved.
As for me? Jingle All The Way was a waste of time for me, pure and simple. It's just bad, through and through, and honestly, I can't think of a single redeeming quality in the whole thing. Like, even in my next movie, there's stuff about it I like, and...
Oh. My next movie. It's... it's late 90's Schwarzenegger, which means... it's time.
Next Time: Batman & Robin. Enough said.