A review of the new action Christmas film from my friend Phil at the LMO, I didn’t write this one but concur with it.
Violent Night is a great Christmas movie and is now on my ‘must-watch’ list for each and every Christmas from here on. To make a great Christmas movie, here are the ingredients you will need:
- A plot like Die Hard
- The disgruntled Santa from Fat Man
- A sprinkle of Home Alone
- A dash of dark comedy from Scrooged
- A tiny bit of Christmas magic from Elf
- And heaps of violence from Silent Night
Simply mix together, put on for 2 hours and sit back and enjoy.
Violent Night stars David Harbour, John Leguizamo, Beverly D’Angelo, Alex Hassell, Alexis Louder, and Edi Patterson. It’s directed by Tommy Wirkola and written by Pat Cased and Josh Miller.
I didn’t know much going into the movie, and I will have to deal in mild spoilers in this review. If you want to go in fresh, I’ll mark the spoilers from here.
Mild Spoilers Ahead
We start off in Bristol, UK, just up the road from me in fact. The first thing I have to point out is that this was not Bristol at all, but what someone from Hollywood thinks Bristol might look like. This is a minor gripe, but it annoyed me.
It’s Christmas Eve and there are a couple of Santas in a bar, having a drink at the end of their shift. Well, apart from Harbour, who is working, but having a pint to get him through the night. I did think that he was a villain who was about to commit a robbery, but no. He is the real Santa.
Real Santa, magic sack, reindeer, sleigh, the whole nine yards. Over the years, he’s become a little disenchanted with the whole “delivering presents” thing each year but does it because he has to. In most houses, he’s more inclined to have a swig from the liquor cabinet than he is to drink the milk left out for him, especially skimmed milk, which he hates.
In the meantime, we find a family getting together in their mansion to celebrate Christmas. The mother is very wealthy and the kids argue about her money. They have a team of caterers there serving food for the evening.
Santa turns up and then has a nap in a massage chair while having some of the drinks in the house. It turns out the caterers are in fact mercenaries and there to steal money from the wealthy family. Not on Santa’s watch. they aren’t!
Act one of the movie sets everything up nicely. There is a good family, a good set of bad guys, and a drunken Santa. From then on it, the whole thing is just fun right until the end. I was honestly laughing out loud at some moments, whether it was the family having a go at each other, or seeing Santa decapitate an elite mercenary with an ice skate.
This was pure entertainment. Funny jokes, great kills, and everyone is just enjoying themselves. I loved it when they catch Santa and interrogate him, and some of the mercs actually start thinking he might be the real Santa. It was so stupid but so funny at the same time.
End of Spoilers
This movie is like Die Hard, but instead of John McClain, you have a mildly drunk Santa and a few more laughs. This is the most I have been entertained in a long time, it was funny, dark, violent, and just kick-ass.
I know Harbour can be a little hit-and-miss, but he nails this role and I loved him all the way through. The rest of the cast is good, including Leguizamo as the bad guy. He has great fun , especially with lines like:
“Bah humbug, mother f*****!”
This movie is not for kids, the violence is pretty brutal in places. There is a scene that pays homage to Home Alone and I did laugh a lot at it since it was slapstick comedy with an actual death in it, which was funny as hell.
There was no woke, no message, just pure entertainment and I love this movie, it’s finished the year off nicely for me. I highly recommend Violent Night for festive fun!