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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Candy Cane Lane - Deck the Halls with Missed Potential

Rating: ★★☆☆☆(2/5 stars)

Released 12-01-2023

Watched 12-09-2023

Reviewed 12-11-2023

Watched on Amazon Prime Video

"Do you know where your ornaments are? They know where you are, and they’re coming for you."

"Candy Cane Lane" is a film that had potential but unfortunately falls short of delivering a memorable holiday experience. Starring Eddie Murphy as Chris Carver, a man obsessed with winning the local Christmas decorating contest, the film embarks on a fantastical journey filled with elves, magic, and living Christmas decorations. While the premise of bringing the 12 days of Christmas to life through a pact with an elf is imaginative, the execution is lackluster.

The story revolves around Carver, who becomes even more determined to win the contest's new $100,000 prize after being laid off. In their quest for decorations, he and his daughter encounter a mysterious Christmas shop run by Pepper, an evil elf. This leads to a series of chaotic events involving living animals, a Faustian bargain, and a quest for five golden rings to avoid a dire transformation.

Despite Murphy's charm and a potentially engaging plot, the film suffers from a jumbled mix of storylines and overused special effects. The humor, intended to lighten the mood, often misses its mark with poorly written jokes. Additionally, the heavy reliance on typical holiday tropes and predictable plot points detracts from the film's originality.

Another point of contention is the naming of the family members, all after Christmas themes (Chris, Carol, Nick, Joy, and Holly), which feels overly contrived. This lack of subtlety in character naming reflects the film's broader issue of relying on clichés rather than developing a nuanced story.

"Candy Cane Lane" could have been an engaging holiday movie with its unique concept and Murphy's comedic talent. However, it ultimately disappoints, becoming another forgettable addition to the plethora of holiday films. It's perhaps suitable for a casual watch, maybe while baking cookies, but don't expect it to leave a lasting impression. By the time New Year rolls around, you'll either have forgotten it or wish you had.

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