A father braves the shopping crowds on Christmas Eve in an effort to get his son the hottest toy around, Turbo Man, in the Christmas comedy; “Jingle All The Way.” Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a workaholic father who keeps missing out on big moments in his son’s life. But, as he spends the day, trying to get a Turbo Man toy for his son, he ends up meeting another father trying to do the same thing, ends up in a standoff at a radio station, and becomes Turbo Man himself in the town Christmas parade. At the end of the day, he is now closer to his son who says he doesn’t need a toy because he’s got the real Turbo Man at home.
Admittedly, this is a pretty middle-of-the-road comedy. It doesn’t have the staying power of “Home Alone” or “The Santa Clause.” It’s not a classic, but it’s memorable and fun. I know it’s not spectacular but I really like watching it every year. Arnold Schwarzenegger stepped out further than his hero and barbarian roles and did well in this one. Sinbad is hysterical as his foil. And, I love almost every interaction between Schwarzenegger and the cop who pulls him over, gets coffee spilled on him, and has his hands burned by a bomb at the radio station.
This film also features an amazing performance from Phil Hartman. He plays a single father who every single woman in town wants to be with, but he has eyes for Schwarzenegger’s wife, played by Rita Wilson. Hartman’s character seems to be good at everything. He uses spare decorations from his supply to decorate Schwarzenegger’s home, he’s a great dad and appears to be a great friend to Wilson’s character. But, things come off the rails for him when he tries to make a move on her in the car. It backfires and we see him fleeing the parade with his son after the incident and seeing Schwarzenegger dressed as Turbo Man. It was the last film performance from the comedian released before his death and it was one of his best. You can see how funny he is and how well he plays the guy who looks like he’s good but has an ulterior motive.
While this will never top a list of greatest films of all time, it’s a fun family film. It’s great to sit down and watch this and just have fun for a couple of hours. It has some really good performances and shows you how a man who lost his way can still be a great dad while a man who looks like he has it all may have something dark underneath the surface.
Ranking: 3.5 stars out of 5