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i admit it .
i thought arnold schwarzenegger had a knack for comedy when he made twins and true lies .
watching him in jingle all the way , i wondered why anyone ever thought he could carry such a lame movie targeted at susceptible kids .
it was one thing to scare the crap out of kids with the pg-13 kindergarten cop , but parents who let small children see this movie will have to explain themes of violence , alcohol consumption , burglary , racism and child molestation .
and you know they'll burst out in tears when arnold punches one of santa's elves .
he later decks a reindeer .
hey , man , why don't you just kick the easter bunny in the nuts while you're at it ?
jingle all the way is formula crap that follows the if someone falls on his ass , it must be funny school of thought .
arnold , sinbad and phil hartman crash to the ground more times in this movie than a special olympics hockey team , and the movie dredges up more cliche and less believability with each successive scene .
what can you expect from a movie whose entire premise is that two parents can't find a rare toy on christmas eve , and will do anything to get one ?
arnold is , of course , one of the parents , a crack salesman who is never there for his son .
he races from the office to his son's karate game , only to find out he missed it .
and his kid distrusts him because he's never around .
( gee , we haven't seen that in a movie before . )
arnold the absentee father becomes convinced that the only way to buy back his son's affection is to get him a turboman doll , which his wife ( rita wilson , who will never be the breadwinner of the hanks household choosing roles like this ) told him to get weeks ago .
so arnold sets out to find a turboman , which turns out to be more rare than the tickle me elmo was when jingle all the way came out .
let me back up for a minute here -- arnold's kid is totally obsessed with this turboman character , which is unhealthy beyond belief .
watches the show , eats the cereal , sleeps on the freakin' turboman sheets .
i'd try to discourage any further obsession myself , lest any kid seeing this movie think it's a wonderful thing to con your dad into racing out to buy you any toy you want .
but nooooo , the climax of jingle all the way has arnold dressed up as turboman in a parade , exonerating himself of all wrongdoing in the eyes of wife and son , who don't recognize him until the last minute .
this is a sad movie all the way through , but it only gets worse after the opening scenes of arnold and mailman sinbad stampeding through a store , racing off to the mall and hooking up with a santa ( jim belushi ) who runs a bootleg toy factory .
most painful to watch is a scene at a radio station , where sinbad holds off the cops with a letter bomb after beating up the deejay ( an embarrassed martin mull ) who said he was giving away a turboman doll .
capitalism has produced some pretty evil things ( chia pets ) , but this ode to excess and violent consumerism is one of the most shameful .
never mind the subplot with perfect neighbor phil hartman trying to seduce wilson while arnold is off shopping ( " your cookies are incredible " ) , it's the main plot of the movie that sends the message that it's okay to do whatever it takes to get your hands on what you want .
maybe that's what christmas is like at the schwarzenegger house , but not at mine .