McGinnis: A review of the preview of ‘A Christmas Story 2’Written by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
arner Bros. has officially announced the release (straight to video) of “A Christmas Story 2” on Oct. 30.
A trailer for “Story 2” was released online on Sept. 5, and was immediately condemned by most everyone on the Internet as a very bad idea, very badly executed. How can one trailer, which runs a mere one minute and 55 seconds, generate such bad buzz? Let’s hit play and find out …
0:00 — The trailer opens with plenty of shots from the original, referencing many of its most beloved moments. A snarky narrator, who sounds like he’s hyping a new Farrelly Brothers comedy instead of a holiday classic, pipes up: “It’s the most beloved Christmas story of all time. And this holiday season, Ralphie is back!”
0:09 — Our first sight of the new Ralphie (now played by Braeden Lemasters of “Six Feet Under”) in a reindeer costume, clearly a callback to the original’s bunny suit, only less endearing. Narrator: “Now, he’s a bigger kid, with an even bigger wish!” Get your mind out of the gutter — this time, Ralphie wants a car. Yep, he’s aged enough to be able to drive, but not enough to use exclamations other than “Holy geez!”
0:21 — A shot of the logo, with the curious apparent subtitle “The Official Sequel!”
0:23 — Narrator: “The timeless tradition continues with all your favorite characters! Randy!” Ralphie’s little brother, who, oddly, seems to have aged only about one to two years in the time Ralphie has grown five to six.
0:27 — Narrator: “Ralphie’s best pals, Flick and Schwartz!” Who are immediately shown dressed as elves hitting each other with candy canes, complete with cartoonish sound effects, while Santa gleefully watches from behind.
0:31 — “Mom!” Played by Stacey Davis of “Ghost World” and “Desperate Housewives,” she is shown wrapping Randy in a scarf in another gag that is lifted lock, stock and two smoking barrels from the original.
0:39 — “And the Old Man!” Played by Daniel Stern of “The Wonder Years” and “Home Alone” fame, who immediately shows how badly miscast he is by saying the classic “It’s a clinker!” line in a horribly overdramatic way, like he’s playing the Old Man in an SNL sketch.
0:45 — “In an all-new heartwarming movie!” The trailer immediately displays how heartwarming it is by showing Ralphie getting behind the wheel of a display car and having it roll away and nearly cause a traffic accident. Heartwarming!
0:55 — “To brighten your holiday!” Followed by a power outage. After he composed that beat, I hope the guy who made this trailer sighed to himself, pondering what he had done in his life that led him to this fate.
0:58 — “This Holiday Season …” Kid on Santa’s lap: “Can I get a Slinky?” Santa: “A Slinky? You waited two hours in line to ask for a bed spring?” So Santa has progressed to directly insulting the kids now, and can’t even come up with original zingers.
1:05 — “The fun is just beginning!” Now the trailer shows the teens getting jobs at a local department store and doing all sorts of “funny” pratfalls and slapstick. One (Flick, maybe) is shown wiping something off a woman’s chest until her other half, a Navy man, comes up from behind. Flick runs away in fast-motion. Heartwarming!
1:20 — “And family is a gift!” Mom is shown telling Randy how lucky he is to go fishing with Dad. “Ralphie didn’t get to go with him until he was well past puberty!” Which, at the rate Randy is aging, is a good 10 to 20 years away.
1:30 — “That keeps on giving!” Mom to Randy: “This is for you, from Aunt Clara!” And in another gag that is little more than an uninspired callback, Randy doesn’t get a bunny outfit, but instead a sailor costume. So Aunt Clara thinks Randy is perpetually a member of the Village People? Mom: “That is just too adorable for words!” Randy: “I can think of a few!” HEARTWARMING!
1:40 — “A Christmas Story 2! The Official Sequel!” They really pound on that “official” thing, don’t they? Like, “This isn’t just crappy fan fiction, dammit! We’re official! Just like ‘Scarlett’ was an official follow-up to ‘Gone with the Wind!’ And now ‘Scarlett’ is just as beloved and remembered as the original novel, right? Right?”
1:43 — Oh, lord. The leg lamp is back. They seriously had no original gags left, did they?
1:50 — Final words on screen: “The perfect gift for the holidays.” Unspoken follow-up: “Would be for you to forget this movie exists.”
Admittedly, judging a movie based solely on its trailer is unfair. The finished film may end up being nothing like this. But the trailer shows nothing that gives any confidence that this “official sequel” deserves to even be sold in the same store as the original classic — let alone marketed as its equal.
But hey! Heartwarming!