Violent Night – Movie Review
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Writer: Pat Casey, Josh Miller (Screenplay)
- David Harbour (Stranger Things)
- Beverly D’Angelo (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation)
- John Leguizamo (The Menu)
- Cam Gigandet (Twilight)
- Edi Patterson (Knives Out)
Plot: When a group of mercenaries attack the estate of a wealthy family, Santa Claus must step in to save the day (and Christmas).
Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Violent Night starts when Mr Scrooge (Leguizamo) and his group of mercenaries invade the estate of Gertrude Lightstone (D’Angelo). He holds her family hostage, as he plans to take her money. However, Santa Claus (Harbour) has just stopped by to deliver presents.
Santa ends up helping the youngest member of the family Trudy (Brady). He uses his past to fight back against the mercenaries and to save Christmas for the family.
Verdict on Violent Night
Santa Claus is out on his annual Christmas run, stopping off in local pubs. While delivering presents he enjoys the treats left for him, while taking a few of his own. His latest drop-off sees him stumbling into the middle of a crime, needing to look into his past to save a little girl and her family. As we learn more about his past, we get to see his violent side of him, one he uses to help save the day. He is filled with puns along the way.
Mr Scrooge is the man who organised the heist, he wants the money and doesn’t care how many people he kills to get it. He has codenamed his whole team with Christmas-related names and hates the holiday himself. Scrooge doesn’t fall for the same tricks other villains do in the same situation.
In the family being held hostage, we get the same kind of dynamic we saw in Knives Out. A wealthy family that is used to getting everything they want. Linda and her daughter Trudy are the only ones who don’t fit in, as they show a much more grounded vision of life.
On the mercenaries’ side of things, we get a string of different figures too. Each one has their own unique set of skills which offers a different moment of combat for Santa.
David Harbour is brilliant in this role, he gets to have fun in a reluctant action-hero role. He lands the action side of it as well as the comedy side of things. John Leguizamo is delightful as the villain, getting plenty of pun-filled lines going on. The rest of the cast gets moments, with young Leah Brady being the standout of the rest of the cast.
The story follows the real Santa Claus getting caught up in the middle of a heist on a wealthy family. He must dive into his past to help fight back against the criminals to save the family.
This story will easily get compared to many action movies, with the clearest one being Die Hard. It is basically Die Hard at Christmas with a rich family being held, hostage. However, the characters are smart enough to know how to get the job done smoother. There are also plenty of Christmas puns and mysticism around Santa Claus lure.
Violent Night is an action comedy that manages to balance the chaotic bloody violence, with the pun-filled comedy with ease. The fight sequences use the environments for different sequences. With the hammer sequence being the most memorable of the selection involved.
Final Thoughts – Violent Night is a bloody delightful addition to the must-watch Christmas movies.