Comfortable and Furious

A Christmas Story 2 (2012)

I wrote my first Christmas review in 2006 or so, before Christmas Movie Reviews were a big Ruthless franchise. Now, if you Google Christmas Movie Reviews , Ruthless Reviews comes up #1. In 2013, I started churning out reviews in earnest, and now Ruthless has a stable of over 65 [EDIT: 120] Christmas Movie Reviews and rants. There is one movie that stands above all the rest, my favorite and the undisputed best Christmas Movie of all time. That movie is, of course, A Christmas Story (1983).

In 2012, and under the cloak of secrecy and darkness, a Christmas-hater named Brian Levant decided to try to ruin Christmas Movies forever. This movie was slipped onto the Christmas Movie lovers horizon like a deadly virus, straight to video, and with no fanfare. I did not know this thing even existed until I started my quest obsession with Christmas Movies for Ruthless. This stink-bomb was dropped on us 29 years after the original. Why?

Before this turns into some sort of JJ NFL preamble rant, Hey Look, A Christmas Story 2! On to the movie review!

A Christmas Story 2 (2012)

Does this look like an older Ralphie to you? I didn’t think so either

A Christmas Story 2 was set 5 years after the original. Unfortunately, these actors were not the same as in A Christmas Story (1983). Instead of a Red Ryder BB Gun, Ralphie was lusting after the car and the girl of his dreams. Ralphie managed somehow to damage his dream car before even driving it or purchasing it. He was faced with the prospect of coming up with the money for repairs, or going to jail. Essentially, the plot of the movie was Ralphie and his hapless friends trying to work to raise the money, and failing miserably. Spoilers be damned in this thing. In the end, Ralphie gets the car and the girl. The family gets the fish and the furnace. This movie was terrible, so now I will get to the why.

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Yes, this was just as stupid and unfunny as it looks

In movie time, 5 years had elapsed since the original family classic. Ralphie was barely recognizable as a gangling teen-ager, but none of the other characters even faintly resembled the original cast. Never was this more evident than the character of The Old Man. Darren McGavin was lovable, witty, perceptive and contagiously enthusiastic. Daniel Stern as The Old Man was a crude, churlish and very unlikable bully. He made poor decisions and abused his family. The Mom was certainly no Melinda Dillon, and they somehow made Stacey Travis unattractive. OMGoat… Randy, Ralphie’s younger brother, was morphed into an older version of the creepy kid with the goggles who was in line to see Santa at Higbee’s. Ralphie’s buddies were no better, they were Dumb & Dumber.

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Does this look remotely funny? No, it wasn’t

Nothing was more of a failure than the attempts to rehash and shoehorn in every single hilarious icon and incident from the original movie. This was movie-making at its very laziest, right down to Ralphie’s daydreaming reveries. Nothing in this film was original, clever or remotely funny.

No sub-plot was more abused than the one about The Old Man and his war with the furnace. It is understandable that the cretin who produced this turkey (more about turkey in a moment) would want to capitalize on the original movie. I understand that, but the its a clinker! smoky furnace was beaten to death, beaten to death, and then beaten to death some more. I mean, give it a rest already. Unlike the generous, savvy and likeable Old Man in the original, the Old Man in ACS2 was miserly and stupid. He actually paid an exorbitant price for a 9 year-old used furnace, purchased on the side from a couple of con-men.

A Christmas Story 2 (2012)

Just how cement-headed and miserly was this Old Man, anyway? For some reason he was outside painting his house…in the middle of December in No. Indiana. Why? I guess so that he could continuously utter trite, and hackneyed phrases, one after another. You remember how much The Old Man loved and anticipated the Christmas Turkey? Not this jerk. He balked at paying 40 cents a pound for the turkey, and stormed out of the butcher shop like a spoiled brat. Mom went along like a good little wife. Would Melinda Dillon have put up with this? Hell NO!

In this same inane and inexplicable sub-plot, The Old Man decided to go ice fishing to catch their Christmas dinner. Of course, due to his stubbornness and incompetence, he failed to land a fish and berated and verbally abused his entire family in the process. This was some ugly, unwatchable stuff.

As this film ground its way to the inevitable conclusion, the deranged makers of this atrocity frantically tried to insert every gag and reference to the original movie. The tongue stuck to the flagpole, only this time it was not a flagpole. There was Aunt Clara’s outrageous outfit, only this time the goggled and hysterical Randy was the victim. And then, of course, there was the infamous Leg Lamp, inserted awkwardly into the end of the movie, and for no apparent reason. Oh, and the Old Man who would not spring 5 bucks for a turkey, somehow bought his idiot son a fancy convertible for Christmas.

After an eternity, the credits rolled and this thing was over. At least I am relieved to know that I will never have to dread watching this thing again. In time, the memory will fade, but there is no escape from lasting emotional damage from this one. This horror is ranked only 3.3 at IMDB and when the trailer was released in 2011, it received the largest number of down votes in YouTube history.

ZERO/10.0 With the Goatesians warning of Bah-Humbug, avoid at all costs.