Starring: Michael Keaton, Kelly Preston, Mark Addy
Director: Troy Miller
Running Time: 101 mins
Jack Frost is an American film about a neglectful father who dies in a car accident, but returns to life in the form of a snowman outside his family’s house, enabling him to make up for lost time with his son.
This is a ridiculous film. Caught in an almost unbelievable middleground of family-friendly Christmas fantasy and dark, Grimms-esque personal drama, it’s pretty much impossible to find a firm footing when watching Jack Frost, though that might be part of the charm for some.
There are moments where Jack Frost seems to teeter on the brink of being so-bad-it’s-good. The entire first act is entirely alien in the playbook of Christmas movies, focusing almost fully on the excessive rock n’ roll lifestyle of a neglectful father played by Michael Keaton. Yet by the end of the film, we’ve got magic, middle school rivalries, and a talking snowman.
The dissonance between the opening and closing moments of Jack Frost is preposterous to think about now having seen the film, but the fact remains that this is a film that seems intent on disappointing whatever audience it could have possibly played for.
The first 45 minutes of the film – the period before which we see the talking snowman – will likely bore younger viewers out of their minds. It’s a predictable tale of a father coming to learn the true meaning of family and Christmas, but it’s peppered with unnecessarily dark drama early on that almost entirely neglects any festive fun that could keep kids entertained while it sets up its story.
Then, for the rest of the movie, older viewers will likely be more perplexed than anything at the sight of Michael Keaton playing a talking snowman trying to rekindle his bond with his human son.
With the exception of the rather impressive practical and digital effects that the film uses to bring the snowman to life, Jack Frost is a fantastically weird mess of a movie, struggling to capture any sense of festive magic, and proving a consistently dull attempt at telling a classic fable-esque story. It’s a boring, strange and confusing movie that holds little appeal for any possible demographic, and that’s why I’m giving Jack Frost a 5.8 overall.