Jingle All the Way - * *

Easily the worst of any of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s attempts at comedy, Jingle All The Way aims its sights at the commercialization of Christmas, but continually misfires. Schwarzenegger plays Howard Langston, an overworked father who consistently neglects his son, Jamie (Jake Lloyd). Christmas time comes around, and Howard has a shot at redemption: if he can deliver a TurboMan action figure to Jamie, all will be forgiven. Unfortunately for Howard, the TurboMan doll happens to be the most popular toy this Christmas, and his chances of acquiring one on Christmas Eve are slim to none. If there weren’t enough obstacles in his way, several other fathers are also hunting for the elusive TurboMan, including slightly insane postal worker, Myron Larabee (Sinbad). Harold stomps from misadventure to misadventure, from uncovering an illegal toy-smuggling ring run by mall Santas (and ringleader James Belushi), to attempting to steal a TurboMan doll from his too-perfect neighbor, Ted (Phil Hartman). While there are a few good comic moments, most of Jingle All The Way seems stale. Most of the film seems as if it ran out of effort halfway through. Take Sinbad’s postal worker for example. The film is unsure whether to place him as an out-and-out villain, or simply another man in Schwarzenegger’s shoes. Even the action filled ending is flat, lacking the polish of Schwarzenegger’s other films, and ending in some actions that seem wholely out of character for Howard’s son, or any son for that matter. Schwarzenegger has proven his ability to do comedy…now he needs to gain the ability to pick better ones than this.

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