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CANDY CANE LANE

"Jesus Is the Reason for the Season"

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What You Need To Know:

CANDY CANE LANE, a Christmas comedy on Netflix, stars Eddie Murphy as Chris, a suddenly unemployed married father of three. His new free time inspires him to pursue his obsession with Christmas decorations. Chris is determined to beat his neighbor at their street’s Christmas decorating contest, which suddenly has a $100,000 prize. Chris and his youngest daughter stumble across a Christmas store under a freeway overpass. The elfish woman sells Chris a tall mechanical tree whose ornaments match the characters in “12 Days of Christmas.” However, Chris doesn’t read the fine print in the bill of sale.

CANDY CANE LANE starts out with poor pacing. Things pick up in the second half when Eddie Murphy’s character must save his family from the elf lady’s evil magic. The script achieves liftoff worthy of Santa’s sleigh. Murphy and the cast share a playful energy. Also, Director Reginald Hudlin stages several great action set pieces, and the special effects are terrific. CANDY CANE LANE has strong pro-marriage and pro-family values. A large sign proclaims, “Jesus Is the Reason for the Season.” There’s some foul language, though.

Content:

(BBB, CC, L, V, A, M)

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Very pro-family and pro-marriage with kindness, forgiveness, redemption, with two shots of a giant sign clearly reading “Jesus is the reason for the season”

Foul Language:
Four obscenities, one profane use of the name of Jesus by villain, three light profanities, although there are three or four sound gags where it appears Eddie Murphy is about to swear, and Christmas caroling stops him in his tracks, plus man refers to another’s man’s inflatable Christmas decorations as blow up dolls

Violence:
Creatures and people of the “12 Days of Christmas” come to life and wreak comical chaos in a city, and store customers fight over toys in one brief shot

Sex:
No sex

Nudity:
No nudity

Alcohol Use:
Brief alcohol use includes two references to wine, man holds a beer bottle and another man holds a wine glass Smoking and and/or Drug Use and Abuse: No smoking or drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
A bad elf causes innocent comedic mayhem with all the creatures and people of the “12 Days of Christmas” come to life as they wreak havoc in a city.

More Detail:

Eddie Murphy has built his 40-plus year career as a comedian and movie star upon his unique ability to veer between swear-laden R-rated comedies and clean, popular family movies like DADDY DAY CARE and DR. DOOLITTLE. His newest movie, the Christmas comedy CANDY CANE LANE, is definitely in the family side of his career.

The movie provides clean fun that overcomes some slow pacing in its first half to reward viewers of all ages with a spectacular second half full of highly imaginative comedic adventures. The movie follows Murphy as married father-of-three Chris Carver, who is unexpectedly laid off just a week before Christmas.

His new free time inspires him to pursue his comically crazy obsession with Christmas decorations run even wilder, as Chris is determined to beat his neighbor Bruce at their street’s highly competitive Christmas light and decorating contest after always losing. An additional reason he wants to win is the newly announced $100,000 prize for the winning house, and he springs into action with his youngest daughter in tow.

They stumble across a Christmas store called Kringle’s located under a freeway overpass, which is packed with holiday wonders and run by an elfish woman named Pepper (Jillian Bell). He tells her he needs something incredible to help him win the contest, and she sells him an amazingly tall mechanical tree whose ornaments match all of the characters in the famous carol (three French hens, eight lords a leaping and so much more!)

To buy it, Chris had to sign an agreement that looks like the world’s longest receipt and he’s so excited, he neglects to read the pages and pages of fine print. What he comes to discover is that Pepper is actually a very bad elf who tries to turn unsuspecting customers into porcelain people in a Christmas-town display if they can’t find and capture five golden rings by 8 pm on Christmas Eve – the exact same moment national media are due to flood his street as the contest winner is announced.

Soon, Chris is getting prank phone calls from four calling birds, while seven swans are swimming in the family pool. Things only get nuttier from there, leading to a spectacular second half that’s extremely original and inventive fun.

Can Chris control the mayhem that’s growing on his street? Will he be able to capture the golden rings in time to avoid being turned into a porcelain doll forever? And, can he learn to be a kinder father, rather than forcing his kids to abandon their dreams to follow his strictly planned course for their lives?

CANDY CANE LANE starts out with poor pacing and finds Eddie Murphy direly lacking in energy. It appears that this will fall into the half of his career output that were lazy misfires like the largely forgotten MEET DAVE or A THOUSAND WORDS. However, as Chris starts to put together the clues needed to save himself and his family, Kelly Younger’s script achieves liftoff worthy of Santa’s sleigh.

Thankfully, Eddie rises to the occasion. He and his supporting cast also have a great, playful energy in the second half as well. Director Reginald Hudlin stages one great action set piece after another once things get rolling, and the special effects, especially the porcelain figures coming to life, are terrific.

CANDY CANE LANE has strong pro-marriage and pro-family values. Also, a large sign in two scenes prominently proclaims, “Jesus Is the Reason for the Season.” The movie has some foul language, however. There are also three cutaways to Christmas carols when Eddie Murphy seems about to swear.

Overall, CANDY CANE LANE is well worth viewing, even though some of the first half is a low-energy slog. The payoffs make this a real Christmas gift for families with older children.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.