Director: Tommy Wirkola
Writers: Pat Casey and Josh Miller
Starring: David Harbour, John Leguizamo, Alex Hassell, Alexis Louder, Edi Patterson, Cam Gigandet, Leah Brady, Beverly D’Angelo
Violent Night is one crazy film. David Harbour stars as Santa Claus, who after centuries of bringing gifts and Christmas cheer to children around the world has become disillusioned with the holiday itself. He sees the world is full of greed, and instead of taking joy from his job he spends his time getting drunk. When seven-year-old Trudy (Leah Brady) and her disgustingly wealthy family are held hostage by a group of mercenaries who are looking to rob them, she turns to Santa to help save her family. Seeing that Trudy is on his nice list and still believes in Christmas magic, Santa decides to help her and takes on the mercenaries. It’s also important to note that Santa was a Viking warrior named Nikamund the Red, before he became Santa Claus, so he’s very handy with a sledgehammer.
The film is very violent and very funny. David Harbour is really great as Santa Claus and it’s pure brilliance to see the beloved character go around killing with great amounts of blood. If you’ve ever wanted to see Santa Claus covered in tattoos sew up an open wound or fight his way through a small army, then this is the film for you. All of it is punctuated perfectly with a merry soundtrack that makes the action that much more exciting. It’s also filled with references, with the obvious Home Alone as well as a more surprising nod towards Halloween Kills. It’s incredibly cheesy, but in the best way possible.
Most surprisingly of all is that the joke doesn’t wear thin at all. There isn’t a single point in the film where it starts to feel overplayed or dragged out. It’s a fast-paced action celebration that’s akin to films like John Wick and Nobody, which isn’t surprising since David Leitch is one of the producers as he worked as a producer on those films, as well as directing the excellently fun Bullet Train from earlier this year. It’s brilliant action and stuffed with funny moments.
There’s plenty of fun and festive cheer in Violent Night. If the idea sounds good to you, then you won’t be disappointed. It’s quite bloody, fairly festive, and a hell of a lot of fun. Definitely one to add to the Christmas list.
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