Jack Frost (Michael Keaton) is an aspiring rock singer whose band – which includes Mark Addy from The Full Monty as his best friend and keyboard player, Mac and the film’s composer and former Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin – are on the verge of making it.
Frost’s obsession with this frankly rather uninspired covers band leads him to neglect his wife Gabby (Kelly Preston) and young son Charlie (Joseph Cross), although a last-minute epiphany sees him abandon a prestigious Christmas Day gig to rush home to the family.
Unfortunately, he is killed in a car crash en route.
A year later, Charlie is deeply depressed and toots on his dad’s old harmonica which turns out to have magic powers. Suddenly Jack is back, reincarnated as the snowman that Charlie has built on the front lawn.
The snowman was created by Jim Henson’s workshop and was clearly intended to be cute. Sadly, it just looks creepy (Critic Roger Ebert described it as “the most repulsive single creature in the history of special effects, and I am not forgetting the Chucky doll or the desert intestine from Star Wars”).
And so Jack learns what a wonderful life it might have been had he paid less attention to his music and more to his son. Unfortunately, Jack Frost is a sloppily written rehash of just about every other film where a dad disappoints his son due to a career. There isn’t one emotion, thought or response that hasn’t been lifted from some other source.
The dialogue is dreadful, the effects are terrible and – with the exception of an epic snowball fight and a ludicrous chase scene where the town’s bully Rory (Taylor Handley) and his cronies transform into expert stunt snowboarders – the halfhearted family melodrama was generally disappointing all round, taking just $34.5 million at the box office in the US against a budget of $85 million.
Not be confused with the Z-movie tale of a wise-cracking homicidal snowman released the previous year with the same title.
Trevor (Lead Guitar)
Louis Molino III