Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.
I should have liked this movie more. You have two actors whom I love: Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti and you have an interesting and unique story on the family of Santa Claus and what his family is like. You even got a kids movie that delves a little into the PG-13 humor a bit. But this isn't going to be a rant about how much I hated this movie. In fact it is actually a pretty good movie with a good story...but its not great.
Fred Claus is the story of Fred Claus, brother of Santa Claus. Fred is a bit of a slacker and a badboy and has always lived in the shadow of his brother. All his life he has had a deep seeded resentment of his brother because he was always the favorite. Every year around the holiday times Nick (Saint Nick get it) would always outdo Fred. The final straw came when Nick cut down Fred's favorite tree that had a family of birds in it along with a birdhouse Fred made. Because of that he hated his brother. Years and years later Nick is made a Saint and Nick and his family are frozen in time never to age. Nick becomes Santa and Fred becomes a repo man. Needing some cash because of trouble with the law Fred calls Nick and and Nick says that he will give him enough to bail him out but that he would have to work at the North Pole to earn the rest. There is only one problem: Clyde, an efficiency agent will close down the North Pole if they get three strikes..and Fred is a big hassle.
Its your typical family is important kids movie with a Christmas flair. Vince Vaughn does well enough in the movie and Paul Giamatti stands out as one of the better Santa's I have seen. Most of the other actors are decent enough. Elizabeth Banks, Ludacris and Kevin Spacey are good standouts as well but not too overwhelming.
Its a good Christmas movie but not great. It tries too hard to become a classic without ever succeeding. A decent Christmas movie all around but you can do better.
MY VERDICT: RENT IT