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Commentary: Sequel to ‘A Christmas Story’ an appalling idea, disgrace to the original

Courtesy of MCT

“A Christmas Story” has always been one of my favorite holiday movies. It doesn’t matter how many times I have seen Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) somberly walk down the stairs in his pink bunny suit or Flick (Scott Schwartz) get his tongue stuck to a flagpole. These hilarious moments are what will always make it a classic.

When I heard that Warner Bros. Entertainment had released a sequel to the film straight to DVD Oct. 30, I was appalled at the decision – so appalled that I refuse to watch the film.

Sequels always seem to run the risk of becoming a huge flop, and I doubt this particular movie is anywhere near the caliber of the original, which made a $20 million lifetime gross, according to Box Office Mojo.

The plot of “A Christmas Story 2” involves a teenage Ralphie (Braeden Lemasters) vying to get a car for Christmas and wrecking one while still on the lot. He and his friends, Flick (David W. Thompson) and Schwartz (David Buehrle), are therefore forced to work in their first jobs in order to pay off all of the damages by Christmas Eve.

Along with the film’s trailer being utterly cringe-worthy, the description of the storyline does little to convince me that this is a movie worth watching. I was immediately bothered by the apparent slap-stick humor, return of the once-shattered leg lamp and the fact that Randy (Valin Shinyei) appeared to have stopped aging.

What happened to the realism of the original?

What made “A Christmas Story” so beloved was the fact that it captivated the spirit of the holiday while also being relatable. Sure, you might not have had your heart set on an “Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle” as a child, but everyone had their eye on that one present from Santa. Christmas time is particularly special as a kid, and the original movie undoubtedly captured that.

One of my biggest frustrations regarding this new film, and another reason I have no interest in seeing it, is the time gap. Had it been done shortly after the original, not nearly 30 years later, I think the potential for success could have been greater. The problem is that many people like myself often have a hard time watching movies where the entire cast has been replaced with new actors, especially when the original actors will forever be seen as the face of those characters.

Not all sequels are bad, but “A Christmas Story 2” is certainly an unnecessary one. As a dear fan of the original, I think the high standards set by the 1983 original would leave me more than disappointed with this straight-to-DVD release.

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