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Will Ferrell
James Caan
Edward Asner
Zooey Deschanel.
Jon Favreau.
David Berenbaum.
Running Time
98 minutes

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Will Ferrell is an elf! Or not, as it happens...

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After he creeps out of his crib at the orphanage and into Santa's bag, Buddy is raised at the North Pole and works in Santa's workshop with the elves. Shocked when he finally discovers he's human, not elf, Buddy goes to New York in search of his father, who turns out to be in need of some Christmas cheer.

An uncanny gift for physical comedy helps Will Ferrell propel this festive family movie along, even though it's barely more than a string of sketches held together by a conventional plot.

His giant-among-elves character first amuses with his mere size, but in New York he's an outcast of a different kind: a wide-eyed, relentlessly cheerful child in a man's body whose elf-talk convinces everyone he's a nutjob.

The gags swing between mildly inventive and screamingly obvious, but even the latter are performed and timed well enough to draw a laugh. The plot, however, is so overshadowed by comic set-pieces that its ending fails to deliver the emotional impact it should. And it doesn't help that the supporting characters are either overexposed (we see far too much of Buddy's father at his work, for example) or underdeveloped (love interest Jovie is likeable but sidelined).

Ferrell's man-child invites sympathy and sniggers, making this amusing despite some flimsy plotting. Sight gags and a Santa-centred story should keep the kids happy, too.

Reviewed by Anna Smith

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Average user rating for Elf
Empire Star Rating

A Refreshing Christmas Comedy

The Christmas TV and cinema schedule is littered with the same old films, whether they're classics (A Miracle On 34th Street) or downright droll (the dreadful TV film Home Alone 4) but it is always given the light with Elf. This is an engine of festive comedy and it is fuelled by Ferrell's undoubtedly comical POV of modern life through the eyes of an outsider. The supply runs dry at times and some slightly awkward moments slip in. But, nevertheless, this is a warm-hearted film with a good amoun... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JHFilmReviews at 17:28, 30 July 2012 | Report This Post

Elf: More Of The Same.

I really get bored of Christmas films as they are all the same, I thought that this was going to be something different but it really wasn't. Another Christmas film a with a stereotypical happy ending, mediocre acting and bad singing. Luckily I cannot see a sequel but I can see more films like this with Ferrell in. Oh dear. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by LUCASLITTLEWOOD at 14:19, 12 July 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Elf

...and drinking all that coke in one one go.....and then letting off a huge burp....."Did you hear that?" ... More

Posted by DanielFullard at 12:56, 09 February 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Elf

orating the shop overnight t="trebuchet ms"] ot to be someone from corporate trying to make me look bad" ... More

Posted by Funkyrae at 12:27, 09 February 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Elf

p; That snowball fight was also awesome. ... More

Posted by AgentGoth at 10:10, 09 February 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Elf

L: AgentGoth "You sit on a throne of lies!"/quote] Yeh that was great And when he gets run ober by the taxi and starts apologising ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by DanielFullard at 10:00, 09 February 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Elf

This film is great!   "You sit on a throne of lies!"p; "SANNNNNTTTTTAAAA!!! I KNOW HIM!!"p; I love Will Ferrell in this. ... More

Posted by AgentGoth at 09:57, 09 February 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Elf

L: Funkyrae "#cc00ff"]I love this film!  Maybe I'm just a schmaltzy person but I get goosebumps every time Zooey Deschanel starts singing!  It's one of the only recent Christmas films that actually has any feeling of magic in it.  I've lost count of how many times I've watched this with my daughter and I know it will be a firm Christmas favourite. Those ending moments do have a sense of 'Christmas magic' that a lot of filmakers just cannot do. I know the film as wit... More

Posted by DanielFullard at 08:34, 09 February 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Elf

Elf is a great little film, one of the best Christmas films of recent years. As with just about any Christmas film,you'll enjoy it more watching it at Christmas time, nothing gets me more depressed than watching festive films a few months after the event. ... More

Posted by Indio at 08:20, 09 February 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Elf

#cc00ff]I love this film!  Maybe I'm just a schmaltzy person but I get goosebumps every time Zooey Deschanel starts singing!  It's one of the only recent Christmas films that actually has any feeling of magic in it.  I've lost count of how many times I've watched this with my daughter and I know it will be a firm Christmas favourite. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Funkyrae at 08:07, 09 February 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Elf

I noticed this was on Sky this morning and for some reason I decided to sit down and watch it. I had just done 2 hours work on a Uni Essay and needed some light relief and escapism. And this provided that. Ferrell drives the Movie and everything that is funny in the film is down to him. The script and plot is nothing special and infact other than Ferrell its rather a nothing film. Obviously it is best watched at Xmas time but it still has the feel-good warmth about it on a cold February morn... More

Posted by DanielFullard at 13:47, 08 February 2006 | Report This Post

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