“Get Santa”, currently available on Sky Cinema, was first released in 2014. When Santa (Jim Broadbent) crashes his sleigh on a test run over London, and subsequently ends up in prison, it’s up to recently released convict Steve (Rafe Spall) and his son Tom to save Christmas.
This was not the movie I was expecting. The London scenery and cinematography is drab and the humour comes more infrequently than I’d like. Only in the latter third of the movie do we get some Christmas magic and bright effects.
There’s a touching moment in the prison, and the debate over Father Christmas (the preferred English term) vs Santa (Tom uses the American term to his father’s consternation) was a nice touch for a movie set in England. There was a minor surprise of the “unexpected good deed” from a minor character to offset the overall negative nature.
Steve’s friend, prison barber (Stephen Graham) is a great character and good friend (he even refuses to try and escape, committed to his redemption by serving out his sentence). Warwick Davis as the not-an-elf convict is good but woefully underused. “Da Vinci’s Demons” fans will enjoy Hera Hilmar’s supporting role as police officer Boyle.
Steve’s parole officer Ruth (Joanna Scanlan) is a Miss Turnbull stereotype which is unfortunate. Why can’t larger women and/or those who keep more exotic pets (a toad in this case) be nice people?
The movie ends abruptly. The police do nothing to stop Santa leaving on his magic sleigh. Ruth and police officer antagonist Finkerton (Ewen Bremner) hold hands, signalling a relationship between two antagonists just because – I suppose I should be grateful that evil!Ruth gets a happy ending. Santa assures Steve that Ruth won’t send him back to prison but we have no guarantees of that. Christmas has been ruined in the Southern Hemisphere – Steve thinks maybe they can say that Santa has left the presents on beaches and in back gardens rather than in houses to cover up the late deliveries, certain that Santa can fix everything. But there wasn’t even a montage during the credits showing a guaranteed happy ending.
Overall this movie gets a 3/5 from me.