The Claus Family 3 2023 Movie Review
The main character in this series is Jules, who is the only one who knows that his grandfather is actually Santa Claus. Unfortunately for Jules and his grandfather, the family has planned a ski vacation in the middle of their busiest time of year to get closer to each other. In addition, Jules’ little sister Noor finds out the secret and wants to help provide the whole world with gifts. That would mean a substantial increase in staff, but Jules still prefers to keep her out of it.
There are a number of things that are great about the film. This one is visually quite sparkling, as long as nothing too ambitious is attempted. Strolling in the snow or green-screening elves in the bedroom goes well, but dangling from the top of a lighthouse not so much. A Flemish-Dutch production that, according to the opening, was partly made possible by a tax benefit from the Belgian government, is something to be proud of. The fact that the whole thing lasts barely 45 minutes – considerably shorter than the earlier parts – does detract somewhat from its maturity.
It is also great that the film continually devotes itself to sincere moral messages. This time it’s about not leaving anyone out. The film also makes a statement against overcompetitive parents, so-called ‘tiger parents’. Those groceries are delivered with the care and attention of an overworked PostNL delivery person around Christmas, but they still arrive at your front door somewhat crumpled. Instead of simply copying the previous lessons, this part attempts to distinguish itself from its predecessors with its development.
The adult viewer is also not forgotten, with jokes about ‘wow wow woke’ and grandma getting drunk on mulled wine again. But the most daring thing is that at one point Santa Claus is locked up in a Mexican prison. For a family film, the idea of a brute who tries to skin Santa Claus with a knife is treated very lightly. Here, parents may need to reassure their children that, despite the strong visual effects, the story is very much fictional.
But actually this scene sticks mainly because the rest of the film is quite monotonous and rarely has its feet off the floor. For some cast members, it may also be starting to look more and more like work; not everyone puts the same level of energy into their performance. The smaller roles are played much more flamboyantly and the leading actors who have to carry the story look dull in comparison. Making films like this three years in a row is great, but perhaps a sabbatical can be taken for part four. Everyone is now ready for a real holiday.