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★ KWEI’S FILM REVIEWS-11: “Candy Cane Lane” on Prime Video

In my film reviews, I start with the benchmark of five stars and then deduct half or one point if the film falls short in any of the following categories: · Storyline · Screenplay · Acting · Direction · Character Arcs


The reviews are my opinions alone.



Eddie Murphy and Tracee Ellis Ross at the premiere for Candy Cane Lane at the Regency Village Theatre. Picture: Paul Smith-Feature
November 28, 2023: Eddie Murphy and Tracee Ellis Ross at the premiere for Candy Cane Lane at the Regency Village Theatre. Picture: Paul Smith-Featureflash


Plot Overview

"Candy Cane Lane" on Prime Video is a Christmas movie that aims to blend humor and holiday cheer but struggles to find its footing. The story revolves around a series of chaotic events in a suburban neighborhood during the holiday season, with Eddie Murphy's character at the center of the unfolding drama. The plot attempts to intertwine various character arcs and subplots, leading to a convoluted and often confusing narrative.


Casting Highlights

Eddie Murphy, a stalwart in the comedy and acting world, brings his signature charm and wit to "Candy Cane Lane." His decades-long career has featured dynamic performances and a unique ability to captivate audiences. However, in this film, even Murphy's seasoned skills are insufficient to uplift a script that lacks coherence and depth.


Behind-The-Scenes

The "Candy Cane Lane" production showcases an effort to create a vibrant and festive atmosphere. The elaborate set design and cinematography are moderately esthetic and aim to capture the essence of the holiday season.


Commentary

The movie's overall execution, from screenplay to direction, doesn't harmonize these elements into a cohesive and engaging story.

"Candy Cane Lane" suffers from several critical issues:

  1. Multiple, Confusing Storylines: The film's attempt to juggle numerous plots results in a lack of focus and narrative clarity.

  2. Unneeded Characters: The presence of extraneous characters adds to the clutter, detracting from the main storyline.

  3. Stereotypical Characters: The movie resorts to clichéd and stereotypical portrayals, such as the "fat, jolly black woman" and the "heavily- and badly-accented Englishman," which are problematic and outdated.

  4. Unnecessary Noise and Chaos: The film's chaotic approach overshadows any meaningful storyline or character development.

The target audience for this film needs to be clarified. The inclusion of sexual innuendo makes it unsuitable for children and teenagers, while many adults may find these elements unfunny or offensive.


Wrap-Up and Rating

"Candy Cane Lane" falls short of delivering a cohesive and enjoyable Christmas movie experience. The movie needs help with its storyline, screenplay, and character development. Though commendable, the acting and directing efforts cannot compensate for these shortcomings.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

  • Storyline: -1 point

  • Screenplay: -0.5 point

  • Acting: -0.5 point

  • Directing: Maintained

  • Character Arcs: Maintained

Bottom Line

Despite its festive setting and a strong lead performance by Eddie Murphy, "Candy Cane Lane" is a Christmas movie that unfortunately cannot be recommended. Its problematic elements and a confusing and cluttered narrative make it a film that falls short of the joyous and heartwarming experience typically sought in holiday movies.

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