Silent Night, Violent Night, All Is Calm, All Is Fright
Violent Night, starring David Harbour and John Leguizamo, is a semi-amusing Christmas parody film.
Violent Night, directed by Tommy Wirkola, may not become a Christmas classic but remains a somewhat entertaining film nonetheless. Filled with strong comedy and solid action sequences, it’s guaranteed to make a fun movie night. However, the lack of a strong storyline, the addition of unneeded emotions and backstories, and overall mediocrity make it potentially unsuitable for true cinephiles.
The story follows Santa Claus, who, on Christmas Eve, is out delivering presents to all the nice kids. He ends up in a mansion that is coincidentally getting hijacked by thieves at that very moment. Hilarity and chaos ensue as he tries to save them from their attackers. The plot seems simple but is somewhat of a mashup, as there are traces of Christmas classics like Home Alone and Die Hard throughout. The film starts quite strong, setting a fun, entertaining tone but slowly becomes suspenseful. After the suspense stage, however, it becomes a little silly/cliche, with some unnecessarily forced emotional scenes.
Acting & Comedy
The acting is mediocre, except for David Harbour (who plays Santa Claus) and John Leguizamo (Mr. Scrooge), who carry the majority of acting throughout the film. The pair have surprisingly good chemistry, as seen through a couple of good fight sequences and quirky one-liners. Let’s be honest, though; no one is going to watch this film expecting an oscar worthy performance but purely expecting to laugh and have a good time, and it does not disappoint. The humor is what saves this picture from disaster. The movie starts very comedically strong, but as it progresses, it gets increasingly corny and attempts to become emotional. However, the humor doesn’t completely disappear, as there is, thankfully, still a relatively good amount of comedy throughout the middle and end portions of the film. If the director had kept the pace and tone at the start of the movie and carried it throughout the film instead of focusing on random backstories and emotional elements, the movie as a whole might have turned out better.
Christmas films are generally always made to be entertaining and Violent Night is no different. The movie engages the audience through adequate humor and surprisingly decent action scenes. Now, to the question on everyone’s mind: Will it become a Christmas classic? No. At the end of the day, it’s simply just another action comedy flick. While relatively entertaining, as a film, it is nowhere near the level of classics such as Home Alone, Die Hard, and Elf.
Raving Rating: 6.2