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Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 7.95%
Average: 4.55%
Pretty Bad: 14.77%
Total Crap72.73%

7 reviews, 46 user ratings

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Christmas with the Kranks
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Jason Whyte

"The Christmas From Hell."
1 stars

I like Tim Allen. I think heís a funny everyman and a good comic, and even though heís appeared in some funny movies ("Galaxy Quest", "Big Trouble") made many clunkers ("The Santa Clause"; "Jungle 2 Jungle" and even the independent "Who Is Cletis Trout?"), he was also responsible for the many funny half-hours spent in-front of the tube watching Home Improvement, of which I am a fan. So needless to say, I give the guy a chance every time, but after viewing the heaving junk-pile Christmas With The Kranks, I think itís time to let the appreciation go.

It isnít just Tim Allenís fault, however. This is a brutally unfunny comedy that is awash with silly characters going exasperated lengths to find crazy ways to solve problems rather than doing something easier. The laugh-free screenplay was written by Chris Columbus, who has adapted John Grishamís Skipping Christmas, which I have not read, but I doubt that Grisham would have filled his pages with all of this nonsense.

Luther and Nora Krank (Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis) are unhappy that their 23 year old daughter Blair (Julie Gonazlo, who is actually 23 in real life and recently played a 16 year old in the Freaky Friday remake) has left on a Peace Corps mission in South America for the holidays. Frustrated that they will be left alone for the holidays for the first time in two decades, they decide to skip Christmas altogether and instead go on a cruise. Doing this will save them over $3,000 from the $6,000 that they normally spend each year buying tons of crap they donít need (that $6k number doesnít sound that right to me). Add to that, any relation to the festivities have been nixed as well, including any of the traditions in their neighbourhood.

But little do they realize that they live in a community that appears to be militant and hostile if you donít conform and celebrate Christmas the way that everyone else does. As soon as the word gets out, they are harassed by their neighbours, especially Vic (Dan Akyroyd), the Fun Leader (heavy emphasis on quotation marks there, by the way) of the neighbourhood who turns up his nose at the fact theyíre going on a cruise. Personally, Iíd tell them to do something that would involve profanity, and the Kranks should as well, but instead they hide away in their house as everyone around them tries to convince them to at least put up a snowman on their roof like everyone else.

When we think that weíve had enough of this wacky hostility fun, Blair suddenly calls on the phone announcing that she and her boyfriend are coming home for Christmas. Instead of Nora telling her But honey, since you went on vacation we decided to go on vacation as well, they cave in and try to put together Christmas for the returning family. This leads to the neighbours pitching in because once youíve conformed, itís easy to find help.

Slapstick abound: An entire sequence is devoted to Nora as she races for the very last canned ham in the supermarket. Okay, first off: what kind of 23 year old female (and an attractive blonde who looks like sheíd only eat about one slice of it) likes canned ham? A real ham or even a turkey would be in order, but then of course having the ham roll out of Noraís cart and onto the street and having it run over by a truck just wouldnít be as funny if it werenít in a can first, would it?

Another odd sequence involves two cops (Cheech Marin and Jake Busey) who volunteer to pick up Blair and his boyfriend at the airport, and pick up a burglar. Instead of taking him back to the station, they take him back to the Kranks residence (with the civilians in the same back seat, I might add) and leave him outside , with the window down, which leads to a young boy letting him go. Guess what happens next.

And so on. This movie infuriated me instead of making me laugh. Nothing is funny or thoughtful or original. All of the characters just go along with the slapstick stupidity of it all instead of actually doing anything with a shred of reality. If youíre looking for a Christmas film to entertain the family, give The Polar Express a shot and let this disaster sink out of the mutiplex. If this one succeeds, we may just see Tim Allen in The Santa Clause 3, and we donít need that.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 11/25/04 17:09:40
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User Comments

12/24/13 Michelle O Tim is a TOOL & Jamie is a LUG NUT 2 stars
10/23/09 Rachel Not the best comedy, but it definitely has some parts that make you laugh. 4 stars
10/22/08 Shaun Wallner Not all that funny. 1 stars
9/11/07 Daren As a sub I had to show this movie to several classes to pass time. I wanted to kill myself. 2 stars
2/03/07 X To quote the bloopers guy on Robot Chicken: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! 1 stars
1/28/07 William Goss To quote Jamie Lee: "Oh, dear God, this should be outlawed." Hypocritical and humor-free. 1 stars
1/07/07 Frank Rountree OK, but only rent it and watch it once. Tim Allen is good 3 stars
1/03/07 Ken Cain Pretty poor. Don't buy it. 2 stars
11/28/06 MickT anti-fascist and missunderstood,just like Starship Troopers. 3 stars
6/30/06 Ryan_A Even an OK cast can't save a terrible script and bad direction. Allen's typically awful. 1 stars
5/22/06 Diane P just okay for me the book was much better my daughter liked it she's 10 3 stars
4/11/06 Justin A pretty decent Christmas movie. Love Jamie & Tim! 4 stars
3/31/06 mike An Incredibly annoying movie. Just dumb. Only worse movie is cry wolf! 1 stars
1/07/06 JM Synth Fairly terrible, but it did have one of the better casts to hit the big screen in a while 2 stars
12/30/05 tony Its not Christmas Vacation and thats all im going to say 1 stars
12/27/05 Thelma G. calling this abomination crap is an insult to crap 1 stars
11/14/05 Joe Smaltz Really sucks, couldn't finnish it! 1 stars
11/12/05 tatum The Kranks should have spent the Xmas money on a funny script 1 stars
11/05/05 NoVaDJ I would have rather watched an old man write his name in excrement on a wall than this movi 1 stars
7/28/05 ellie it wasn't half bad 4 stars
6/15/05 Quigley quite possibly the worst movie ever to ugli-fy the theater screen 1 stars
5/13/05 Jennifer Regan Nice family movie, and very entertaining! 4 stars
4/29/05 Valerie Furr Kept me laughing and very enjoyable movie. 4 stars
4/23/05 Heather Tarlecky I thought it was worth seeing 4 stars
4/11/05 Ann Lemire Not Great 3 stars
4/10/05 Vince worst movie I've ever seen in theaters 1 stars
3/31/05 Katherine Frazier way too predictable 2 stars
3/25/05 craig varney terrible nonesense 1 stars
2/22/05 re morgan kill me once i finish my popcorn! 1 stars
1/31/05 Katherine Frazier Really boring movie 1 stars
1/18/05 Jeff Anderson WORTHLESS JUNK! If this is the way Xmas is really like in any known universe, WE'RE SCREWED 1 stars
12/30/04 Katie Evridge Entertaining film. Worth seeing if you need something to do for a few hours. 4 stars
12/29/04 Tom Ciorciari Inexcusable crap from those who really shold know better 1 stars
12/17/04 Desperado hey hayfever, it was there because Bush is an ignorant dipshit, so there 1 stars
12/13/04 hayfever Why the Bush-bashing in the Kyle review? That was unneeded. 1 stars
12/11/04 the Grinch Would you put Tim Allen in YOUR movie? 2 stars
12/09/04 lawhog44 Curtis/Aykroyd fans, you'll be a lot happier rewatching Trading Places. PS: Book sucks, too 1 stars
12/05/04 Tmccormick oh my god im going to shoot myself that was so bad 1 stars
11/27/04 KCobain Train wreck 1 stars
11/27/04 Steve Hazelwood Oh my dear lord...Did I pay money for that? 1 stars
11/27/04 Norman Kozlarek Trailer was sooo bad it pissed me off 1 stars
11/27/04 Naka No. Absolutely not. Never. Jesus. 1 stars
11/25/04 Whoop Whoop Sensationally awful. Enough to ensure Allen never acts again. 1 stars
11/25/04 Caiphn 'Hilarious and Fun'? Are you retarded? You are! 2 stars
11/25/04 Kristina Williams Jamie Lee Cutis must RETIRE. NOW. 1 stars
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  24-Nov-2004 (PG)
  DVD: 08-Nov-2005



Directed by
  Joe Roth

Written by
  Chris Columbus

  Tim Allen
  Jamie Lee Curtis
  Dan Aykroyd
  Erik Per Sullivan
  Cheech Marin
  Jake Busey

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