Violent Night (2022)

The movie might feel like a late night joke, but Violent Night is everything you could ask for with its Santa-meets-Die Hard concept as a bloody, junky fun bit of Christmas good tidings. I’ve noticed that 2022 is a year marked by highly violent, pulpy, well choreographed action-comedies such as The Princess and Bullet Train, and I think if you like any one of them, then you’d happily enjoy the others. For Violent Night, the movie smartly lays out its rules and limits and obstacles, and then allows the mayhem. Santa (David Harbour) is an alcoholic nihilist losing faith in the meaning of Christmas, and then through the events of one Christmas night, he’ll re-emerge as the Santa we deserve and need. The movie isn’t overly winky about its outlandish premise with the exception of some ironic catch-phrases that Santa has to drop for maximum attitude. The fights between Santa and the criminal crew are entertaining, well shot and choreographed, and make clever use of supernatural touches, like Santa’s magic portal presents bag and his list that can supply key details on any human. There is a sweet dynamic between Santa and a little girl named Trudy, who chats with Santa through a walkie talkie thanks to the power of belief. She’s the heart of the movie and helps motivate Santa to do better and save her family. The supporting characters are pretty stock and unremarkable but the draw of this movie is Harbour (Stranger Things) and the silly pomposity of its violence. It’s a gory, glory good time.

Nate’s Grade: B

About natezoebl

One man. Many movies. I am a cinephile (which spell-check suggests should really be "epinephine"). I was told that a passion for movies was in his blood since I was conceived at a movie convention. While scientifically questionable, I do remember a childhood where I would wake up Saturday mornings, bounce on my parents' bed, and watch Siskel and Ebert's syndicated TV show. That doesn't seem normal. At age 17, I began writing movie reviews and have been unable to stop ever since. I was the co-founder and chief editor at PictureShowPundits.com (2007-2014) and now write freelance. I have over 1400 written film reviews to my name and counting. I am also a proud member of the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA) since 2012. In my (dwindling) free time, I like to write uncontrollably. I wrote a theatrical genre mash-up adaptation titled "Our Town... Attacked by Zombies" that was staged at my alma mater, Capital University in the fall of 2010 with minimal causalities and zero lawsuits. I have also written or co-written sixteen screenplays and pilots, with one of those scripts reviewed on industry blog Script Shadow. Thanks to the positive exposure, I am now also dipping my toes into the very industry I've been obsessed over since I was yea-high to whatever people are yea-high to in comparisons.

Posted on December 25, 2022, in 2022 Movies and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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