Movie review: Scrooged

A late ‘80s interpretation of Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol,” where TV Executive Frank Cross, played by Bill Murray, is visited by three spirits of Christmas in order to change his ways. 

“A Christmas Carol” is a story that is played out with a seemingly infinite number of

interpretations, but even so, “Scrooged” is a breath of fresh air. Whereas other interpretations repeat the same exact story, “Scrooged” goes for a new story that feels more inspired by Dickens’ text than a retelling. Frank Cross, the Scrooge of this story, has a backstory of sacrificing love for money and his job, instead of the Bah-Humbug Ebenezer we are all used to. This character elevates the film to another level and sometimes gets incredibly dark. The “Scrooged” equivalent of Little Tim faces a psych ward due to being unable to speak after witnessing the murder of his father. 

Where “Scrooged” falters is ultimately where it also shines–in the tone. Bill Murray is incredibly talented, but it seems the writers didn’t know what to do with his talent. Some scenes are clearly there for laughs alone, while some are dark and mysterious, causing the tone of the film to flip-flop from melancholy and dark to comedic, leaving the audience jarred. For example,  the character of Elliot Loudermilk, is obviously written to be comedic, but his actions are incredibly serious and dark. Although, at times, the tonal shifts are confusing, “Scrooged” still delivers a quality take on a Christmas classic. 

Holiday Spirit –  ★★★★★★★★★☆

Visuals-       ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Quality –       ★★★★★★★★☆☆