The idea of a nasty Christmas movie is nothing new, but “Violent Night” still manages to deliver the goods, mixing “Die Hard” and “Rambo”-style action with a fair amount of hokey ho-ho-hokum. David Harbour makes a particularly good cranky, butt-kicking Santa, in a movie that offers the sort of shared experience that should bring theaters some much-needed cheer. Harbour’s Santa Claus is introduced getting liquored up between deliveries boozing it up in a London pub, clearly having lost his appetite for his appointed rounds. That jaundiced outlook explains why he indulges in a break that includes stopping to sip (OK, steal) some very expensive brandy while visiting a massive mansion in Connecticut, right before an elite team of armed thieves come in and take the family hostage. Said family includes a pair of estranged parents (Alex Hassell, Alexis Louder) and their daughter (Leah Brady), who is still young enough to believe in Santa, and makes a point of noting that s he just watched “Home Alone” for the first time. Initially just forced to defend himself, Santa finds himself in an increasingly pitched and bloody battle against the naughty guys, led by a Christmas-hating mastermind who goes only by the codename Mr. Scrooge (John Leguizamo, matching Harbour’s hammy gusto).
Overview of the movie
Violent Night Key