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Candy Cane Lane (2023): Eddie Murphy's Holiday Magic or Just Another Christmas Disaster?

A man is determined to win the neighborhood's annual Christmas decorating contest. He makes a pact with an elf to help him win--and the elf casts a spell that brings the 12 days of Christmas to life, which brings unexpected chaos to town.

Hey there, movie buffs and festive film fanatics! Today, I've got the inside scoop on the latest holiday flick that's either going to make you ho-ho-ho or humbug your way out of the theater. Candy Cane Lane is the newest addition to the ever-expanding realm of Christmas movies, and it's got Eddie Murphy, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Jillian Bell all wrapped up in a shiny, tinsel-covered package. Buckle up, because we're about to take a sleigh ride through the good, the bad, and the downright ugly of this yuletide adventure.

Let's start with the lineup of stars. Eddie Murphy leads the pack, and can we just take a moment to appreciate the fact that this man never seems to age? I swear, he's like a Christmas vampire, forever frozen in time, or maybe it's just the magic of moviemaking. Either way, Eddie brings his trademark charm and comedic flair to the screen, proving once again that he's the gift that keeps on giving.

Now, add in the fabulous Tracee Ellis Ross and the hilarious Jillian Bell, and you've got a trio that's more dynamic than Santa's reindeer on a caffeine high. Ross's performance as the matriarch of the Carver family is both heartwarming and humorous, while Bell injects the film with her unique brand of comedy that's sure to tickle your tinsel.

But before you jump on the sleigh, take a detour to the trailer park (no, not that kind of trailer park) and check out the official Candy Cane Lane trailer. It's a festive feast for the eyes, promising holiday cheer, elfin mischief, and Murphy's infectious laughter. Just click the link above and prepare for a sleigh ride through Christmas chaos.

Now, onto the plot. Picture this: a man hell-bent on winning the neighborhood's Christmas decorating contest, a pact with an elf, and a spell that brings the 12 days of Christmas to life. What could possibly go wrong? Well, everything, apparently. The result? Unexpected chaos that makes you wonder if maybe they should've stuck to just putting up a few strings of lights and calling it a day.

What I liked about the movie? Well, aside from Eddie's age-defying magic, the end credit scene is a gem. The goof reels are a delightful bonus, showcasing the cast's real-life laughter and camaraderie. It's like getting a peek behind Santa's workshop curtains, and who doesn't love a good laugh reel to end the holiday festivities?

Now, let's talk about the lump of coal in the stocking—the things that made me want to toss my popcorn at the screen. First off, the green screening and CGI. I get it, it's the 21st century, and we have the technology, but did we really need so much of it? Sometimes it felt like I was watching a Christmas-themed video game, and not in a good way. Let's bring back the magic of practical effects, people!

Then there's the issue of forced jokes. I love a good laugh as much as the next person, but some of the humor felt like it was trying too hard. It's like the writers were desperately shaking the Christmas tree, hoping that a few more laughs would fall out. Less is more, folks—especially when it comes to holiday movie humor.

And speaking of shaking things up, Candy Cane Lane ventured into corny territory more than once. Now, I get it. It's a Christmas movie, and a certain level of corniness is expected. But there's a fine line between heartwarming and cheesy, and this film toe-tapped across it a few too many times. It's like they took a sleigh ride down Cliché Lane without bothering to check the map.

Extra tidbits for your holiday trivia night: Candy Cane Lane was filmed on the iconic Wisteria Lane set from Desperate Housewives. Talk about a Christmas crossover! This also marks Eddie Murphy's second collaboration with Amazon Original, proving that even A-listers can't resist the allure of streaming services.

And can we take a moment to appreciate the Carver family's commitment to Christmas? Each family member has a holiday-themed name—Chris, Carol, Nick, Joy, and Holly. It's like they were destined for this chaotic Christmas adventure.

Oh, and speaking of chaos, Eddie Murphy reunites with David Alan Grier, his co-star from Boomerang, who plays none other than Santa Claus. Move over, Saint Nick—there's a new Kris Kringle in town.

In the grand tradition of movie reviews, it's time to deliver the final verdict. Candy Cane Lane walks the fine line between holiday magic and green screen disaster. It's a festive romp that'll leave you with a warm feeling in your heart, but also questioning the practicality of decorating your house like a Christmas explosion.

So, on the scale of one to ten Christmas cookies, I'm giving Candy Cane Lane a solid 6.5/10. It's a jolly good time, but it won't be replacing your holiday classics anytime soon. Consider it a stocking stuffer—a nice addition to your festive movie lineup, but not the main event.

And there you have it, folks! Another holiday movie dissected, wrapped up, and presented to you like a festive gift.

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