VIOLENT NIGHT (2022)
Flick opens on Christmas Eve with Santa Claus (David Harbour) disillusioned and getting drunk in a bar. He finally gets back to work and lands on the roof of the rich and mostly obnoxious Lightstone family. At the same time, a group of Christmas named mercenaries led by “Mr. Scrooge” (John Leguizamo) enter the premises to rob the Lightstones of $300 million hidden in a secret safe within the remote mansion. Before you can say “John McClane” Santa is one by one taking down the heavily armed thieves to rescue little Trudy Lightstone (Leah Brady), who is the only one on his nice list.
Fun and very violent flick is directed by Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow) from a Christmas cliché filled script by Pat Casey and Josh Miller. For years it’s been argued that Die Hard is a Christmas film and finally somebody decided to make it one with Santa replacing Bruce Willis’ beleaguered hero! Just so we understand why Santa is so adept at killing bad guys, he is given the background of a once vicious Viking warrior, Nikamund the Red. Clever! The action is fast, furious and violent, there are some brutal but amusing Christmas-themed kills and some nice shout-outs to other Christmas flicks from Die Hard 1 & 2 to Home Alone. There are also a few lulls in the R-rated action, and some of the Christmas double entendres do get a bit tiresome after a while. Otherwise, this is a naughty in a good way action flick with Harbour perfectly cast as the butt-kicking Santa and the multi-talented John Leguizamo also making a very effective Christmas hating bad guy. Cute Leah Brady is simply adorable as little Trudy and avoids annoying child syndrome while actually getting in on some of the action! Not perfect, but a fun and bloody action flick that takes itself serious enough, yet still has its tongue planted firmly in cheek. Also stars veteran actress Beverly D’Angelo as the Lightstone family matriarch, Gertrude.