Hey, remember when Dean Cain was in The Case for Santa, that blatant rip off of Miracle on 34th Street? Well, he’s at it again (the cheek of it) in Defending Santa– and he’s even upgraded to a sheriff with a cute dog. This is classic Cain.

Cain is no longer the defence lawyer but a sheriff (because those legit still exist, tee hee) who finds Santa passed out in the woods on Christmas morning. I don’t think they explain how this has happened but my money’s on a few too many en route sherries. Don’t drink and sleigh. Dean Cain’s daughter drags him into hospital to visit Santa whilst he’s in a coma (kids love coma plotlines)- which he’s disgruntled about. “You’ve been like this ever since that Sunday school lesson about helping those less fortunate,” he sighs. God, when’s she gonna learn that helping others isn’t cool? What a bore she is.

The film works on a spectrum of show-tell, so on the one hand we see Dean Cain’s cousin stumbling down the street (he’s an alcoholic- good show without telling) and then five minutes later we have people being like “but it’s been two years since your wife died and remember how you were married for five years and you’ve known each other five years or maybe ten but also your daughter is eight so what’s the deal there”. It’s a confusing pair of extremes we’ve got there. Luckily the complete lack of continuity on how long Cain was with his late wife is ironed over when the defence lawyer becomes his love interest. Even the daughter’s like “woohoo new mom” and freaking proposes to her at the end! As in, “will you be my mom?” What is that? A momprosal? That’s…no. Go back to helping the less fortunate little girl, you’ve spoiled a romantic moment.

How could you say no to that face when she momproses? I mean, quite easily- what a weird question

Santa does wake up from his coma, but after a while you notice he’s kinda creepy. I mean, the actor’s wooden as heck (less Santa and more a “Santa stop here” sign) but he misses out basic Santa things. He says he’s made a list but he doesn’t say how many times it’s been checked which is Father Christmas 101 surely. This Santa can also do magic- in the form of pantsing somebody who annoys him during a game of football, but also in the form of bringing a tiny pocket-sized horse to life (!!!!!). I know what you’re thinking: why are we watching this tired version of Miracle instead of the film about A LIVING POCKET SIZED HORSE? Oh, because Santa says “don’t tell anyone!” to the little girl he makes the horse for. Ffs Santa you’ll lose your CRB/DBS saying things like that!

Lazy pathos, lazy ripping off a far superior film, and creepy magic Santa- something tells me you’ll want to give this one a miss. Put your time into campaigning for the Pocket Sized Horse movie instead. #PocketSizedHorseMovie

Rating: Ho/Ho Ho Ho.