Watch A Christmas Story 2
- 1 hr 35 min
A Christmas Story is widely considered to be one of the most iconic holiday films of all time. So it comes as no surprise that the 2012 sequel, A Christmas Story 2, aims to recapture the magic of the original. The film brings back some familiar faces and introduces some new ones to the mix, all with the hope of delivering a heartwarming, family-friendly story that will leave audiences feeling festive.
The movie begins in 1946, one year after the events of the original film. Ralphie Parker (now played by Braeden Lemasters) is still living in Indiana with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Parker (Daniel Stern and Stacey Travis), and his little brother Randy (Valin Shinyei). Ralphie is now a teenager, but he's still desperate to get his hands on a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle - the same gift he coveted in the first movie. Unfortunately for Ralphie, his parents aren't exactly thrilled about the idea of him having such a dangerous toy.
The bulk of the film centers on Ralphie's attempts to convince his parents that he's responsible enough to handle the rifle. He tries to impress them by taking on more responsibility around the house, acing his exams, and even volunteering to play Santa Claus at the local department store. Meanwhile, Ralphie's dad is having his own issues, as he struggles to find the perfect Christmas gift for his wife.
Along the way, the film offers up plenty of nods and callbacks to the original movie. Fans of A Christmas Story will recognize Ralphie's ongoing battle with the school bully, his colorful assortment of relatives, and the infamous leg lamp that caused so much trouble in the first movie. For the most part, these throwbacks are done with a gentle touch, never feeling too heavy-handed or forced.
Of course, with any sequel, there are always going to be some comparisons to the original. A Christmas Story 2 certainly doesn't have the same cultural impact as its predecessor, and it's unlikely that it will become a perennial holiday classic in its own right. That being said, the film does an admirable job of recapturing the feel of the first movie. The snowy small town setting, the goofy family shenanigans, and the nostalgic soundtrack all help to create a warm and fuzzy holiday vibe.
One of the biggest changes from the first movie is the absence of Darren McGavin, who played Ralphie's dad in the original film. Daniel Stern does a decent job of filling his shoes, though he never quite reaches the same level of gruff charm that made McGavin's performance so memorable. Stacey Travis is similarly solid as Ralphie's mom, though she's given somewhat less to do than her male co-star.
The standout performance in the film actually comes from Braeden Lemasters, who plays the teenage Ralphie. Lemasters delivers a charming and natural performance that feels true to both the character and the time period. He's a likable and relatable protagonist, and his quest for the Red Ryder rifle never feels selfish or bratty - it's just a teenage boy trying to follow his dreams. Valin Shinyei is also adorable as the little brother Randy, bringing the right mix of mischief and innocence to his scenes.
Ultimately, A Christmas Story 2 succeeds as a sweet and harmless holiday movie that will appeal to fans of the original film. It's not going to make anyone forget about the first movie, but it doesn't really need to - it just needs to offer up a little bit of seasonal cheer and nostalgia, and it does that quite well.
A Christmas Story 2 is a 2012 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 3.3.