Movie Review – ‘Twas the Night’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

It’s time to talk about another Christmas movie I saw recently on Disney+ before December comes along. Last Friday, my parents and I checked out the Disney Channel original movie called ‘Twas the Night’. It was a pleasant film experience to sit through. Not the greatest, but it was really pleasant. 🙂

This film was released in December 2001. Directed by Nick Castle, the film stars Josh Zuckerman, Brenda Grate, Bryan Cranston and Jefferson Mappin! Apparently, the Disney Channel has shown this film every year sometime in December. I do wonder if people watch this film every year on Disney+.

The film features Bryan Cranston (who would go on to play Zordon in the 2017 ‘Power Rangers’ movie) as a troubled, irresponsible man called Nick Wrigley. He’s hacked by criminals who are looking for a bank account code to Nick’s boss. I don’t recall seeing Nick’s boss in this particular film.

The criminals are Jeff Geddis as Bill and Sandy Robson as Harry. And these two villains border on the line of the villains from ‘Beethoven’s 3rd’. In that, they’re way-over-the-top and not at all subtle! Huh, what did I expect? This is a film made for TV after all. Perhaps the acting isn’t so great for TV. 😀

Bill and Harry berate him for the Internet scam he pulled on them and they tell him they want their money by Christmas or else they’ll have their enforcer Eliot (played by Jung-Yul Kim) beat him up. I don’t know if it’s me, but Eliot often at times looked like Benedict Wong who’s in the ‘MCU’ movies.

Nick soon manages to run away with Eliot chasing him and he ends up in a North Pole stage where kids meet Santa Claus. Nick seals the Santa Claus outfit and walks to a bus stop in disguise where he goes to his brother’s house. There we meet Nick’s brother’s family, which also includes the children.

As well as Danny’s brother, Barclay Hope as John Wrigley, there’s also his wife Torri Higginson as Abby, his eldest son John Zuckerman as Danny, his daughter Brenda Grate as Kaitlin and his youngest son Rhys Williams as Peter. Danny is a 14-year-old who connects to Nick a lot in this film. 🙂

Very soon, Danny’s parents, who are both doctors (I wonder if Danny’s father is a psychiatrist like in that ‘Fawlty Towers’ episode! 😀 ), are called into hospital. They reluctantly leave Nick to look after their three children. And this is on Christmas Eve! Yikes, life must be tough for a general practitioner.

And in case you hadn’t worked it out already from seeing the movie poster, Santa Claus comes to the Wrigley household! This Santa Claus is played by Jefferson Mappin. Thankfully he doesn’t get bumped off or vanish in a manner like in ‘The Santa Clause’ once Nick and Danny discover him here.

In fact, Nick himself becomes Santa Claus (Get it? St. Nick!) and he and Danny decide to deliver the presents whilst Santa Claus is unconscious. By the way, Santa’s sleigh is motor-powered since the reindeer are currently ill. I suppose this movie couldn’t afford the budget for reindeers to appear. 😀

Unbeknown to Danny, Nick is stealing from the houses. Once Danny finds out what Nick is doing, he feels betrayed and goes back home in Santa’s sleigh. This film is essentially a character journey for both Nick and Danny, in terms of coming out of their anti-social behaviour and be nice than naughty.

Meanwhile, the youngest children Kaitlin and Peter help Santa in order to find Nick and Danny so he can get the sleigh back. Apparently, Santa’s magical power of persuasion is to tickle someone. It might work on one thug, but it doesn’t work on Eliot. Thankfully, Nick uses Santa’s gadgets on him. 🙂

I like the inventiveness of Santa’s gadgets in making him able to go down and up the chimney as ‘pixie dust’ as well as shrinking or enlarging presents, using a bauble. It certainly saves time on getting down the chimney and up again, as it must be very hard work to do, even for Santa Claus. 😀

‘Twas the Night’ is an entertaining film to check out on Disney+. If you’re in the mood for relaxation, then this film should fit the bill. It’s not exactly the greatest Christmas flick I’ve seen, but it’s decent enough. I’m sure my parents and I will revisit this film in 2022 once Christmas returns. I hope we will.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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