Netflix has emerged as the most festive streaming service of the 21st century with a slew of new Christmas movies to keep you warm on snowy winter nights. There are plenty of festive movies to choose from, but only one of them stars Kurt Russell as Santa Claus (AKA "Santa Kurt" or maybe “Kurt Kringle” if you’re naughty).
In the Netflix holiday original, The Christmas Chronicles, Russell does away with all the stuffy stereotypes that have bogged Santa Claus down since his motion picture debut. Instead, he offers up a hip, funny, and dashing Santa you really want to see coming down your chimney.
Even if you’re not a fan of traditional holiday films, The Christmas Chronicles is more concerned with having fun than anything else. It harkens back to an era of non-traditional Christmas movies that don’t hit you over the head with the whole “Christmas” thing, like Gremlins or Die Hard. Don’t be a Scrooge, fire up the ol’ Netflix box and check out Santa Kurt, you won’t be disappointed.
Santa Kurt Reimagines The Santa Mythology For The 21st Century
When viewers first meet Russell's Santa, he's the holiday figurehead everyone knows and loves. He has the hat, the suit, the sleigh, the reindeer, and his bag of toys. Even so, there's something a little edgy about this Santa.
The suit isn't just a red robe, it's a leather overcoat. When he loses his reindeer while performing a tricky maneuver, his bag of toys goes into a magical pocket dimension. It's kind of like a Doctor Who "bigger on the inside" type deal, and it leads to the North Pole.
Rather than being the age-old, jolly Santa everyone knows, Russell's Santa is more of a high-tech bounty hunter/mountain man with a heart of gold. He's still a stalwart for all that's good in the world, but he's got undeniable swagger.
He's Smart And Resourceful
This Santa doesn't just have a sleigh and a bag of toys to work with, he's updated for the modern era. Russell's Santa has a Radioshack's worth of gadgets at his disposal; his bag of toys comes equipped with a homing device, and his sleigh has the ability to open a wormhole that allows him to instantly travel anywhere in the world. Santa's magic sees a similar upgrade, as he can now transform into coal dust, move at super speed, and have his reindeer fly the sleigh on their own.
While the upgrades are definitely appreciated, Santa doesn't need all these advancements to get around. Even after everything breaks down he's still able to figure out where he is by looking at the placement of the stars in the sky. And as the greatest toy-maker ever he even manages to make a police scanner out of a car radio.
Santa Kurt Is Fit
It's time to mention the 300-pound reindeer in the room: Santa Kurt is hot. It makes sense, considering how he lives in the North Pole where there's nothing to do. To pass the time, his only options are to build toys or get swole 364 days out of the year. Even if he is eating a bunch of cookies and milk on Christmas, it's his cheat day so you can't blame him.
Early on in the film, Claus bemoans the media's representation of him as a chubby old man, and he even talks about how he avoids carbs and sugar. Any time he sees a rotund drawing of himself on a soda can he gets bent out of shape. Because of this, when his sleigh crashes through a billboard wherein he's advertising some kind of off-brand soda he looks genuinely happy.
His Beard Is Epic
Russell's beard is on point in The Christmas Chronicles. He's always had a rakish look about him, but when he started growing out his beard for 2015's Bone Tomahawk the dude got hot. His facial hair became even more pronounced for The Hateful Eight, and now it's grown out to its fullest potential with a truly magnificent Santa beard.
Instead of looking like a sweet old guy who's let himself go (IE every mall Santa ever), he resembles a lion ready to pounce. It's undeniably a good look.