Get Santa is a sweet addition to the Christmas Movie.
ind Rafe Spall is just out of prison and looking to connect with estranged girlfriend (Jodie Whittaker) and their son, Tom (Kit Connor). When Tom discovers Santa in his garden shed, stranded when testing out his new sleigh, he calls on his father to help him reunite with the missing reindeer and broken sleigh and ensure that Christmas goes ahead as planned. However, problems arise: With St. Nick ending up in the nick (sorry), and Spall spending his time dodging his Nazi parole officer (Joanna Scanlan) and overzealous police officer (Ewan Bremner), they are cutting it fine...
riter-director Christopher Smith has made his name with more adult outings that like to twist and surprise (the moody Black Death, the perplexing Triangle, and the underrated comedy-horror Severance), he travels a more tried-and-tested route here. Hardened criminals (like Nonso Anozie) are melted when Santa reminds them of forgotten secrets from their youth. Warwick Davis is the butt of some elf jokes. Santa is still surprised that no one believes in him anymore. By the end everyone taps into their inner child and finds a little love in their heart. Aw.
hat said Smith does come up with some new developments. It's refreshing that Spall is an ex-con, and not the usual greedy businessman who has forgotten the spirit of Christmas. There's a slow motion shot of Santa bopping down a prison hallway to Straight Outta Compton (like, what?). And while one was expecting a farting reindeer, no was expecting to see steam escape the reindeer's backside as the bottom burp fouls the air. That's new. That's definitely new.
afe Spall might be as convincing an ex-con as Hugh Grant would be a football player or Colin Firth an astronaut but he does the everyman as well as anyone. Santa and the spirit of Christmas aside, it's the touching relationship between him and his son that gives the film heart, with Smith stopping short of getting too mushy. Broadbent meanwhile is Broadbent in a Santa suit (not that there's anything wrong with that).