SYNOPSIS: Eddie Garrick (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) is a good-hearted man who has turned his back on Christmas due to a traumatic childhood experience. At the request of his wife Allison Garrick (Teyonah Parris), from whom he is separated, Eddie takes his 8-year-old daughter Charlotte (Madison Skye Validum) out with him on Christmas Eve, where they meet a mysterious man in a red suit named Nick (Lil Rel Howery). Eddie, who is a social worker, thinks the man is delusional and needs professional help, but when he evokes the wrath of a local politician (Oscar Nuñez), he and his daughter are taken on a magical adventure that just might restore his faith in Christmas.
You know it’s that time of the year when a forgettable Christmas theme holiday movie comes streaming on the small screen. And this time round, it’s Ludacris (Fast & Furious franchise) and Lil Rey Howery (Vacation Friends) taking the stage as the sceptical Eddie Garrick and Santa Claus respectively.
Due to a childhood trauma involving a bad mall Santa and his parents’ divorce, Eddie (Ludacris) isn’t a big fan of the festive season although his increasing estranged wife, Allison (Teyonah Parris) wants him to spend Christmas eve with their daughter, Charlotte (Madison Skye Validum). Soon, he encounters a man dressed as Santa (Howery) breaking into his neighbour’s house. The man claims he is Santa as he jabbers non-stop about reindeers, elves and Mrs Claus.
As a responsible social worker, Eddie thinks the man is very much in need of help not knowing a bunch of henchmen from the local congressman is after Santa who mistakenly took his iPad containing data on his bribe money.
Dashing Through the Snow is an absolutely atrocious, low-budget movie that it’s sacrilegious to even think that the Disney branding is behind it. Ludacris and Lil Rey Howery spends the entire movie trading unfunny jokes, getting themselves into predictable gags and running away from the three henchmen. We know this is a wholesome family movie but that doesn’t mean we need repeat offerings of a cinnamon fart joke.
Other than pointlessly chasing after Eddie, Santa and Charlotte in a SUV around Atlanta city, there isn’t any physical comedy gags coming from the baddies as well. At least Home Alone scores a A+ in this department. And talking about some Santa magic, you will be surprise that there isn’t any visual effects at all except the finale which features some uninspiring and cut rate CGI reindeers. The lame excuse is that Santa needs Eddie to believe in the holiday spirit in order for the magic to work.
Coming from director Tim Story (Barbershop, Ride Along) and screenwriter Scott Rosenberg (Venom, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), Dashing Through the Snow wastes the premise of a black man playing St Nick. There’s no care or the slightest effort being put into the whole endeavour. I doubt families are going to find any joy and festive cheer here because it’s more like dashing to the exit.
Review by Linus Tee