First of all, Bill Murray is great. The opening scenes where Scrooge (or in this case Frank Cross) is this truly despicable man are a little tough to see him in I will admit. Murray's always been great at playing the likable jerk, but when he has to play this guy who's just an outright awful human being it's a little hard to believe. Once the story gets rolling and we see more of his past though, he really nails it. The panic, bargaining, and eventual heart that this character shows here is really good.
I also have to give props to the production and the story here. I really like the meta elements of how the story of him being visited by the 3 ghosts is happening on the same night as his TV production of A Christmas Carol, it led to some really clever moments. And the settings themselves were great, especially Christmas Yet To Come which is creepy as hell and does a lot of disorienting things with the camerawork.
The one area where this movie falters is, unfortunately, the humor. A lot of the humor goes for these outrageous over-the-top scenes that feel desperate and frankly exhausting to watch. That's not to say it doesn't have its funny moments, it does, it's just there weren't any huge laughs for me and for every moderate laugh there was also a joke that fell completely flat.
It's not a perfect movie. It's pretty inconsistent, and sometimes a bit too goofy for its own good. But it is still really enjoyable, and it's clear that a lot of passion went into it and there was a great love for the source material which I have to admire. There really aren't any modernized takes on A Christmas Carol, this is about as close as it gets, and I liked seeing that take on this story. Murray's a lot of fun, the sets and costumes are really cool, and it's just a fun time.
- I always enjoyed this one as a kid...and it still holds-up for me...a Christmas classic!
However I still can't entirely dismiss a Christmas movie where an alcoholic Bobcat Goldthwait tries to gun down an equally smashed Bill Murray before the Ghost of Christmas Future transport's them to a David Cronenberg future.