Jack Frost is so treacly and fake it makes you feel like you’re trapped in a winter-wonderland paperweight. Michael Keaton, who deserves a much better movie, plays Jack Frost, a small-town Colorado bar-band singer who goes on the road for a Christmas gig and dies in an accident, leaving behind his wife (Kelly Preston) and teenage son (Joseph Cross). A year later, he returns to life as a blustery, wisecracking snowman who looks like a cross between the Pillsbury Doughboy and Lionel Barrymore. This slapdash comic fantasy wants to be a Spielbergian fairy tale — E.T. with attitude — but it gives you nothing to respond to but the special effects, which turn Jack the snowman joker into a dancing, toboggan riding, supple-bodied special pal. That the character seems more than a little demented is evidently lost on the filmmakers; he looks like he could just as well have been an icicle-wielding serial killer (similar to last year’s straight-to-video Jack Frost). To establish that the film isn’t just for kiddies, Keaton sings urgently bad ’70s-style blues-rock tunes and periodically breaks into a low-down ”black” dialect. As a hero, Jack may be made of snow, but he is most definitely uncool. D+

Jack Frost
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