Candy Cane Lane
Chris Carver (Eddie Murphy) lives on a street unlike any other you’ll ever see. Each year, every resident of Candy Cane Lane is determined to win the neighbourhood’s annual Christmas decorating contest and this holiday season is no exception. When Chris finds himself fired from his job, he becomes willing to do anything in order to win this year’s competition and makes a pact with an evil elf named Pepper (Jillian Bell) to do it. But he soon finds out that when you make a deal with the devil, you must face the consequences, as Pepper casts a spell that brings the 12 days of Christmas to life, bringing chaos to town.
Surprise, surprise and disappointingly, Candy Cane Lane is another Eddie Murphy movie to not hit a home run. Overly simple and lacking imagination, Reginald Hudlin’s movie hits all the right festive notes but offers nothing new in the process of doing so. Murphy delivers a classic performance that differs little, if at all, to anything we have seen since the late 1990s, but he isn’t given much to work with in the first place. The supporting cast is fairly strong, including the likes of Nick Offerman, Bell, Tracee Ellis Ross and Chris Redd, but most of the comedic material that they are required to work around is uninspiring at best.
There is nothing particularly heartwarming about Candy Cane Lane. Even when lessons are finally learnt, ultimately Chris and his family have just overcome a number of obstacles to stop something terrible from happening to them. Once all is said and done, are they still all the same people who simply fell into a trap because they love Christmas so much? Apparently so. Plus, if Santa Claus can just turn up and make everyone’s problems disappear, then was there really any jeopardy to begin with?
There is a danger of sounding like a real Grinch, but Candy Cane Lane is neither one for the family nor for film lovers, just another movie to be coughed out of the streaming platform churn factory and will eventually be lost in the abyss of other Christmas films. There is a cameo from acapella group Pentatonix, which comes as a pleasant and welcome surprise, but that, alongside Offerman as Pip in human form, is about as good as it gets in this wafer-thin, CGI-saturated kingdom.
Candy Cane Lane is released on Prime Video on 1st December 2023.
Watch the trailer for Candy Cane Lane here: