'Arthur Christmas' a nice bit of holiday cheer
Now showing at Rave, Quality 16, Brighton
Review by Corey Hall of the Metro Times
The North Pole as a vast, industrialized bureaucracy is a popular theme at the movies, as seen in "Fred Claus," "The Polar Express," "The Santa Clause" and others. Heck, we've even seen an Easter variant this year with "Hop."
Yet "Arthur Christmas" takes it to extremes, converting Santa's workshop into a shiny, buzzing nerve center of brisk efficiency; thousands of rigorously disciplined elves attending to their tasks at lightning speed. The command center's head is Santa's eldest son, Steve (Hugh Laurie), who runs the operation with paramilitary precision, if not an excess of joy. The old ways have been brushed aside, in favor of smart phones, GPS and an immense starship-sized "sleigh" called the S-1, which whisks around the globe at ultrasonic speeds. The machine runs so smoothly that Santa himself (Jim Broadbent) is essentially a figurehead, one who dodders around until showtime, then performs the job and collects the accolades and cookies.
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