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Movie Review: Spirited

A Christmas movie featuring both Will Ferrell (Elf) and Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)? Sign me up.

Spirited is a different take on the classic Charles Dickens’ story of A Christmas Carol. Now there have been over one hundred different variations of A Christmas Carol over the years, so this begs the question; do we really need another version of this classic tale? Certainly. Sure. Why not? Everything is just a remake these days. (Sorry, did I sound too much like your uncle there?) Spirited is worth adding to your Christmas movie watch list and here’s why.

Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds have been making us laugh over the years through various separate films such as Step Brothers, Van Wilder, Semi-Pro, Just Friends, Old School, The Proposal, etc. They’ve brought laughter to us in our homes and in the theaters and we finally get to see them team up for a Christmas movie that’s also a musical. Now we already knew Ferrell was the songbird of his generation, but little did we know how much Reynolds could sing?

The first few songs help set the pacing of the movie while also giving us a little background on Ferrell’s character of Scrooge. “That Christmas Morning Feeling” is the first song we hear and it goes into detail about what his role is every Christmas as he and the other spirits of Christmas work to change the life of someone on Earth. The other songs I think you’ll really enjoy are “Good Afternoon” and one of the final numbers which is called “Do A Little Good.” You’ll have your songs mixed in throughout the movie that don’t quite pack a punch, but you’ll have that with any musical. (Yes, even Hamilton, folks.)

Reynolds' character, Clint Briggs, is the owner of a media company that’s main job is to cause division amongst people. I believe his role is a social commentary on the current state of the way people act on social media and on the internet in general. He steps into this role rather seamlessly because he’s a fast talking, witty person already so it makes sense that he could win people over to think the way that he does. He’s the main target for the ghost of Christmas Present (Will Ferrell) as someone who needs their heart to be changed for the betterment of humanity.

The visuals in this movie are worth noting because of the variation in time periods that take place. They blend fairly seamlessly between the present day and the past of both Briggs and Scrooge. If anyone should win an award for this movie, I would have to say it should be the costume and set designers. I’m not 100% on the historical accuracy of the costumes, but they seem fairly believable, so you can hang your hat on that...and if not, good afternoon to you. (You'll understand soon what that means.)

Grade: 7.5/10

Overall, I would say that the humor of this movie, accompanied by musical numbers and a take home message about being a good human should elevate this movie into your Christmas rotation on an annual or semi-annual basis. The only thing that would hold this movie back is how it's yet another adaptation of A Christmas Carol which might turn off people from wanting to rush to stream it. Also, it may cause one to have yet another streaming service, but if you already have Apple TV+ then this is a no brainer. Hold onto your classics like Home Alone, Christmas Vacation, Elf, A Christmas Story and others in your mix, but try throwing Spirited in there as well to keep things fresh.

Spirited - now available for streaming on Apple TV+

Rating: PG-13

- Dalton Hessel

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