VOD film review: Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure
Robert Picardo’s "I’ve been assaulted by a Gremlin" face5
Genuine worth in watching the film2
Len Goodman's Farmfoods representation1
Ian Loring | On 05, Dec 2015
Director: John Putch
Cast: Munro Chambers, Robert Picardo, Kyle Massey
Watch Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure online in the UK: iTunes / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / Google Play
According to Google, the average St Bernard lives around seven to nine years. It is therefore safe to say that the original Beethoven is long dead. Indeed, quite a few of the Beethovens are dead. With what is somehow the seventh Beethoven feature, Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure, you can genuinely say that at least a couple of them are rolling in their graves.
While the original film is no classic, it conjures up memories of a 90s childhood, which are hard to disassociate. It also features David Duchovny sitting at a table and being up-ended by a large dog, for which it also gets points. Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure, though, will conjure no such memories. The memories it will evoke are of the Christmas days where one is too full, windy and lethargic to slouch over and pick up the remote control, all congealing into a slobby, greasy recollection of a holiday spent staring at a screen with little resistance to the guff on display.
The film does immediately pick up some interest when the first voice on display is John Cleese – in a vocal cameo he possibly did while sitting on the toilet having a particularly aggressive battle with a number two – and it features Turbo Kid’s Munro Chambers in an early role (your time would be much better spent watching that film instead). Robert Picardo also shows up as the bad guy, constantly wearing the look of a man who has been assaulted by a Gremlin, although he does manage to pull off the film’s one genuine laugh. This laugh, however, may be a result of staring into the abyss for so long that the abyss likely started saying something back.
The plot – a Christmas elf accidentally crashes Santa’s sleigh and loses his magic toy bag – may require watches of some of the previous films to understand, most notably because Beethoven is now a world famous dog. At one point, a character actually wonders out loud if the situation is good enough for a dog such as Beethoven and yet this world famous dog has found himself being used in a small Minnesota town’s Christmas Parade, something we think Strictly’s Len Goodman (who has been trotted out to shill for Farmfoods) could probably relate with. You may be asking yourself “Well, if it’s good enough for Len Goodman, it’s good enough for me”, and normally, you’d be right, but the exceptions to this rule are Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure and Farmfoods.
Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure is the kind of movie you know people will mindlessly watch at this time of year because it has Christmas stuff in it. It’s not absolutely wretched, but it is a waste of time – 94 minutes of pointlessness that could be used to watch many other Christmas films, even if it just Scrooged for the hundredth time.