Title: Jingle All the Way
Director: Brian Levant
Writer(s): Randy Kornfield
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson
*Warning, this review may contain spoilers.
What a better way to kick off the Christmas season than with Jingle All the Way! No, I mean, seriously, if you’re an ’80s or ’90s boy, there’s no darn way you don’t remember Arnold Schwarzenegger’s romp through Minneapolis in search of a Turbo Man action figure! While you’ll never hear someone tell you this is a classic Christmas movie, that doesn’t negate its place in certain circles. Jingle All the Way is the perfect pre-pubescent movie blending family-appropriate action and humor, all with a Christmas focus. Plus, I mean, c’mon… It’s Schwarzenneger!
Arnold Schwarzenegger is an absolute legend in cinema. While renowned more for his strong Austrian accent than his acting, it is worth noting that there once was a time where he was an unstoppable force. In the ’80s and ’90s, America was head-over-heels for Arnie and it showed in the box-office. Nearly anything he touched turned to solid gold, and I mean it when I say anything. From kids movies, Christmas movies, comedies, to violent action flicks. You name it, he’s done it, and he’s done it with brute success. Despite having not seen any of his catalog before 1996’s Jingle All the Way due to its violent nature, I knew who Schwarzenegger was. All children knew. He was a household name!
Can YOU Jingle All the Way to December 25th?
Yes. Yes you can Jingle All the Way to December 25th. In my area of the country, there are a few movie theaters with Jingle All the Way showings. Or you can get it on DVD at Best Buy for $3.99 (if you can still find it). With the hordes of streaming services available today, it seems you can get anything you want on at least one of them. Jingle All the Way MIGHT be on one of them, I can’t say for certain. No matter how many streaming services are out there, the Christmas genre seems to be the last stronghold for physical media and live viewing television. Some of the absolute best and most iconic Christmas movies can’t be found on streaming services, forcing you to shell out big bucks. $20 for a 24-minute A Charlie Brown Christmas Blu-ray? They do it because they know we’ll buy it. I know I did.
Fun For the Whole Family
While Jingle All the Way may not be the forever-classic like A Christmas Story or It’s a Wonderful Life, it is a fun and enjoyable movie for kids and their parents. Laced with equal parts adult humor and elementary goofiness, this is a perfect Christmas movie for sitting down with your kids no matter what decade you grew up in. Some of the adult themes may not be very acceptable by today’s helicopter nuclear shelter parental standards, but most of them will fly right over a kid’s head. One of the most glaring themes, that just so happens to be the funniest, is how Howard’s (Arnold Schwarzenegger) neighbor Ted (Phil Hartman) is relentlessly trying to hook up with Howard’s wife. It’s a hilarious sub-theme, and it is very blatantly out there. One HILARIOUS scene from the late great Phil Hartman has him answer the phone when Howard calls, and Ted says, “Excuse me Howard, but your wife’s cookies are out of this world.” Making very sexual moaning/groaning noises.
Other adult themes throughout include some drinking, mild language, lots of violence (non-bloody), and some scenes with a USPS package bomb. Altogether, Jingle All the Way walks a thin line between PG and PG-13 by today’s standards, but if you’re an open-minded parent who trusts your children will know the difference between fiction and fact, and can understand that it’s just acting, then I highly recommend it.
As I mentioned earlier, Jingle All the Way isn’t exactly a Christmas Classic. When stacked up against the countless Christmas movies made over the last 70+ years, it will never crack the Top 10. That doesn’t mean you can’t sit down and enjoy it, however, as it delivers the perfect balance of adult and child humor. While I am a big fan, it’s solely because of my personal nostalgic experiences. Thanks to Sinbad’s successful crossover into kids movies, his role is perfect, not to mention he’s hilarious. For everything Jingle All the Way gets right in entertainment, it lacks in conveying a feeling of Christmas warmth. Its message of keeping promises and spending time with family takes a long time to be realized, but that’s okay. If a goofy action-adventure Christmas movie is what you’re in the mood for, Jingle All the Way delivers in spades!
Thanks for reaching the end of the article! This piece is apart of our Modern Neon Christmas Bonanza, where we are looking at 25 of our favorite or well-known Christmas movies. So click through to see the previous and next movie, or go back to the home page to find your favorite movie!
David “Nerdberry” is the proud founder and owner of Nerdbacon.com, a video game reviews and news website. Nerdberry owns a local pressure washing business in North Carolina, has a family, and a little house. With a college background in film and a personal love for dissecting movies, he feels aptly suited for Modern-Neon. The jury is still out on whether or not Modern-Neon wants him. We’ll see. But he is excited to be part of the team here in an effort to help it grow!