Well jingle them bells and top you’re favorite festive mug up with industrial strength bleach because the Xmas crop of straight to stream movies are a go!
Now wrapping you’re retinas around one of these little gift wrapped goodies is kind of like playing Russian roulette with jars of dog farts, as you’re never really going to have a truly transcendent experience but some are better than others, so where does Apple TVs offering land on the stinkomiter? Let’s take a gander shall we.
Spirited stars Will Ferrell and Wade Wilson and is a festive musical comedy, the first thing that stood out to me was it’s brave move of setting itself away from the rest of the Deadpool universe, although a musical does feel like the next logical step for the fourth wall breaking mercenary.
It did feel a little odd however that the film didn’t mention Domino or Cable, or reference any of the events of the previous films, but again I applaud this bold move as where most franchises are desperate to build linked stories in a shard universe, Spirited removes Wilson entirely.
While I’m not a fan of the musical genre I did think the choreography was pretty impressive and well executed, however this was also my biggest gripe as Spirited is very much front loaded with songs and goes full tilt firing a song and dance number out every 10 minutes or so.
This constant audio assault wasn’t my only issue unfortunately as it’s also packed with a plethora of tired writing (we even get a delete my search history joke) which made me cringe through a chunk of the runtime and roll my eyes so hard at points I could see the back of my own skull.
Pacing wise it’s touch and go in a few places which is unsurprising as its 2 hours long! I love Christmas more than most but a musical that lasts more than 90 minutes is a slay ride too far for me and had they shaved half an hour off then it would probably have gone down much easier for me personally.
Before I wrap this up (pun intended) I wish to let it be known that I didn’t hate this movie, as a big Christmas fan boy the moments in-between cringing at the bad jokes and sighing at the musical numbers I did have a smile on my face and a tingle In the feels.
A Christmas Carol has been adapted and parodied hundreds of times at this point and if your wanting the self aware comedic take then just stick with the awesome Murray classic Scrooged, it hits similar beats but executes them with more bite and is better paced.
However Spirited does have enough earnest moments that while saccharine as all hell still managed to tow the line and put the feels on me in the way you’d expect from a good Christmas flick.
I also think that Reynolds (yes I’ll retire the whole “he just plays Deadpool in everything” bit) is always charming and watchable and he along with Ferrell get the tone of the film perfectly and are clearly having a great time.
It was never going to get full marks from me as it ain’t my genre, plus it’s writing and pacing grated on me, I just wish it didn’t drag so much in the mid section and had the runtime been trimmed down I think I’d have had such a fun time with it, however it’s well meaning and has its heart very much in the right place.
So all that being said, I’ll give Spirited two and a half extended editions of The Return Of The King out of five.