Candy Cane Lane
review by Bobby Blakey
Eddie Murphy is one of those iconic comedians that dominated every aspect of entertainment he touched. A few years ago he stepped back onto the big screen with the drama Mr. Church and has since brought a few films a year including the excellent Dolemite Is My Name, Coming 2 America and You People. Now he is teaming up with Marshall and Safety director Reginald Hudlin for the holiday film Candy Cane Lane co-starring Tracee Ellis Ross, Jillian Bell, Thaddeus J. Mixson, Ken Marino, Nick Offerman, Robin Thede, Chris Redd, Genneya Walton, Madison Thomas, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes, Lombardo Boyar, D.C. Young Fly, Danielle Pinnock, Timothy Simons, Riki Lindhome, and Stephen Tobolowsky. Could this film bring the laughs and Christmas cheer it promises, or will it be twelve days too long?
Candy Cane Lane follows a man on a mission to win his neighborhood’s annual Christmas home decoration contest. After Chris inadvertently makes a deal with a mischievous elf named Pepper to better his chances of winning, she casts a magic spell that brings the 12 Days of Christmas to life and wreaks havoc on the whole town. At the risk of ruining the holidays for his family, Chris, his wife Carol, and their three children must race against the clock to break Pepper’s spell, battle deviously magical characters and save Christmas for everyone.
I was a little hesitant with this film because I think Murphy has been on a decent run since returning to the screen and wasn’t sure if this one was going to really work. While it isn’t breaking any new ground here, I can say that I did end up enjoying it. For the story they are telling I think it runs a bit longer than needed and has moments that could have been trimmed down, but overall, it still works to bring plenty of laughs and Christmas cheer.
Murphy is good in the role and looks to be enjoying himself as does the rest of
the cast. The two big scene stealers for me are Jillian Bell in her over the top performance that is so silly it works while channeling old Hollywood at times and had me laughing all the way through. The other is a smaller role from Danielle Pinnock as a TV host that had me cracking up every time, even when she is just sitting there.
The story is simple enough and takes on the usual Christmas tropes before it dives into a bit more of the magical aspects. This brings a creative element that stands on its own if you can just let it be what it is. Sure, a lot of it is just silly, but not anymore than any other magical Christmas story. Blended with comedy, heart and holiday cheer this film manages to entertain more than not. It might not work for everyone, but I found it to be more fun than I expected and hope it finds the audience it deserves.
Decide for yourself and check out Candy Cane Lane streaming now on Prime Video.