An elite team of mercenaries breaks into a family compound on Christmas Eve, taking everyone hostage inside. However, they aren't prepared for a surprise combatant: Santa Claus is on the grounds, and he's about to show why this Nick is no saint.
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Cast: David Harbour, John Leguizamo, Alex Hassell, Alexis Louder, Edi Patterson, Cam Gigandet, Leah Brady, Beverly D'Angelo
Release Date: December 2, 2022
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime, Thriller
Rated R for strong bloody violence, language throughout and some sexual references
Runtime: 1h 52m
Violent Night is a bloody bit of Christmas camp that answers the question, what would happen if you threw Die Hard, Miracle on 34th Street and Home Alone into a blender. Tommy Wirkola's film tries to balance over the top bloody action with some Christmas magic, only partially succeeding in frenzied spots before hitting noticeable lulls. The film embraces it’s over the top violence which are what most people are coming for but it also takes long periods of time to try and set up a Christmas magic type subplot which just kills it's forward momentum. The film would have been better served if those sequences were trimmed down allowing it to lean into the goofy Christmas mayhem. David Harbour deserves a lion share of the credit for making this film work with an incredibly fun performance as an apathetic, disillusioned Kris Kringle. Harbour is a generally likable performer which works well for him here as the Viking berserker turned Santa Claus, seriously, and child confidant. His ability to switch between ferocity and heartfelt sincerity is rather impressive. John Leguizamo serves as the film's villain, a role he's clearly having a ball playing. It’s an over the top performance but it works perfectly with the film overall. Beverly D'Angelo and Edi Patterson make the most of their limited screen time, it’s a shame the film didn't make better use of their talents. Violent Night is a choppy affair but when it embraces its violent B-movie camp it’s a lot of fun.
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