Review, ‘Kings vs. Santa’: Family Christmas spirit with a thug twist
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Already converted into a tradition (to the joy of movie theaters, it must be said), the first Spanish film proposal of the Christmas season arrives, although Santiago Segura went ahead last summer with ‘Padre no hay más que uno 3’. In this case, Paco Caballero delves into his first family proposal with a story that is committed to bringing the adventure and fantastic genres to the public. It’s talking about ‘Kings vs. Santa’the epic showdown that has been a long time coming in fictional story form.
It is already more than tradition that, at Christmas, The eternal debates arise about whether to give a gift on December 25, the day when Santa Claus brings gifts with his impressive sleigh and his inseparable reindeer, or on January 6, when the Three Wise Men from the East pass by with their camels. also to bring presents, especially for the little ones. Without a doubt, this confrontation and eternal dilemma was suitable for a family film. Now, what nobody would have expected is that he took himself seriously enough to make a magical adventure story with a certain sense of the epic.
That is achieved by ‘Kings vs. Santa’, despite its technical limitations. The film narrates how the confrontation of their three majesties Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar with San Nicolás awakens the spirit of Krampus, an evil figure whose intention is to erase Christmas. What is fascinating is that the film does not limit itself to focusing on this senseless war, but on how the division of the Christmas spirit causes friction in a magical world also inhabited by other characters related to parties around the world such as the Italian Befana or the Russian Snegúrochkaother characters that are part of Spanish folklore also have their moments, such as Olentzero or Tió de Nadal.
A family comedy that will entertain the little ones in the house
It is this expansion of the magical universe that is the most interesting point of ‘Kings against Santa’, which It is still a family proposal that seeks to entertain and have a good time on the big screen. As with other titles that confront two iconic characters, finally, the Kings and Santa Claus will join forces, thus teaching the little ones that the most important thing is the Christmas spirit and that it can come in different forms. That pedagogical look makes ‘Reyes contra Santa’ a correct family proposal, although Caballero knows how to take it to his own ground.
Proof of this is that the film has a humor that, at certain moments, has a hooligan and acid touch, especially with regard to the long friendship (for millennia, it should be remembered) that Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar have. On the other hand, the limitations in visual effects (which weigh down the final result of the film), manage to be moderately supplied by its leading actors. Karra Elejalde, David Verdaguer and Matías Janick put all their hearts into playing their Majesties from the East. The script, written by four hands between Carmen López-Areal, Benjamín Herranz, Lelé Morales and Eric Navarro, takes advantage of the favoritism for Baltasar or Melchor to create an interesting subplot for Gaspar that raises the uncomfortable question of whether the Three Wise Men have a personal life. Mention also goes to Isa Montalbán, the royal page, who offers a renewed air to the three Kings.
Added to the villain that could well be the alpine version of the Grinch, ‘Reyes contra Santa’ is a nice and entertaining production designed for the whole family that also stands out for being very honest with its claims, which are to offer a moment of fun for the entire public on the big screen. A purpose that manages to fulfill.
The best: The charisma and chemistry of Karra Elejalde, David Verdaguer and Matías Janick.
Worst: It has certain moments of broad brush humor that tarnish the final result, nor is the confrontation between the Kings and the Krampus as epic as it promises and its visual effects, at certain times, are too noticeable.