Elfette Saves Christmas (2019) — A glitter bomb

“Are you elfing serious?”

Justin’s rating: I swear my wife made me promise to watch and review this

Justin’s review: You know how cheap movies looking for mistaken pickups will blatantly position themselves as imitators of a successful and well-known film? I suppose they’re hoping that the surface similarities might confuse the weak-minded that they’re an officially licensed sequel or a movie of similar tone and quality. But no, they are not. They are never that way.

So let’s not go mistaking Elfette Saves Christmas for the long-awaited follow-up to Elf, no matter what the title font looks like or the fact that our heroine is a bumbling but well-meaning servant of Santa wearing a very recognizable costume:

But don’t be deceived. Not that you were going to be.

Elfette — whose parents spent no time in thinking of a name — is stuck working the wrapping paper desk in Santa’s Workshop. Well, it’s more likely a department store that someone bribed the night guard to let a film crew and a half-dozen actual employees set up shop for a few scenes. In any case, her coworkers think she’s a pit stain to patronize, so she has no compunction against taking a well-deserved break to Tampa.

Meanwhile, a company that makes the highly popular (yet weirdly low-selling) Pencil Phone Z sees Santa’s “generosity” as undercutting their profits. From this, I learned that Santa’s elves can make identical knock-off products of any item in the world but don’t have to pay licensing fees. So if you ask Santa for a Nintendo Switch and he delivers, Nintendo’s getting zilch from that delivery. It’s another great reason to feel guilty on Christmas morning!

I do love that corporations not only know and fully accept the existence of Santa Claus, but they see him as a “threat” that must be “eliminated.” The Pencil Phone company hires the mob (why not?) to go kidnap Santa (who, in a daring casting choice, is 40 years old and black) in the hopes that this will drive back up sales. The “mob” then does this with a single guy armed with a (why not?) freeze ray pistol.

With all of the elves out of commission, it’s up to gullible Elfette and her good friend Sparkle who is (why not?) a secret agent to dash off to New York City to save Jolly Saint Nick. But she’s going to need to avoid an assassin trying to capture and kill her to (why not?) use Elfette as an ingredient in a dish to win a coveted award. He wants to COOK a dead elf’s carcass to win an award. I’m down with that.

Elfette’s adventures take her to an ordinary diner (so she can eat “human food”), a magical warehouse run by an elf ally, a hitchhiker’s house, and the streets of NYC itself. Oh, and she raps about Christmas, so steel yourself for that.

I think the big problem — other than the movie briefly entertaining a subplot where the hitchhiker is Gandalf the Grey incarnate — is that Elfette is a manically smiling face and no underlying personality. Yes, Will Ferrell smiled a lot in Elf, but you know what? He did other stuff too. He thought thoughts and said word-things and had a clear motivation. Elfette? She’s a whooshing, whistling void of nothingness that eats candy canes once in a while. She can’t even save her own wardrobe, nevermind Christmas.

It’s a whole lot of bad acting, extremely cheap filmmaking, and childish gags. Sure, there are a few decent one-liners and amusing Christmas-themed spy gadgets, but that’s not enough to fill this gaping void of substance. All it did was make me feel bad for these actresses that they dressed up in mall Santa assistant outfits and made them slave away in the Tampa sun.

Didja notice?

  • The title logo uses the same font as Elf (of course)
  • There’s a travel agency aimed at elves
  • An elf called Elfette? Might as well call someone Humanette.
  • THE PENCIL PHONE Z. Which everyone wants, despite having no screen.
  • Who makes those plus-sized plummeting sales graphs that movies always use for boardrooms? They must be filthy rich.
  • Santa has old timey phones
  • Elf secret agents have the coolest thematic toys — including tinsel that can stretch time
  • Elfette immediately explodes her motorcycle and somehow survives
  • Worst fake tattoos ever
  • I like how the bad guy uses the Pencil Phone Z
  • You can buy a car with 15 candy canes from a sketchy dealer who doesn’t check the amount before you drive off
  • This assassin is the least subtle guy ever
  • ELF RAP
  • How many times are they going to go back to this same storage facility parking lot?
  • “I’m about done with these reindeer games!”
  • “I can still feel the twinkle within you, Georgie!”
  • Mistlefinger > mistletoe
  • Watching that guy put his fake teeth in was crucial to the movie’s plot
  • The totally-not-Elf exploring NYC montage
  • Elfette gets a job offer from the mob, and I would totally watch that HBO series

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