Violent Night backtothepicture.net

Violent Night

February 20, 2023
Comments off
967 Views

After seeing this one, it looks like Santa needs to add a few more people to his naughty list this year.

Taking place during a time of holiday cheer and goodwill to all, Violent Night follows a rough-around-the-edges Santa Claus (David Harbour) during his annual mad dash around the world as he happens upon a group of mercenaries led by Mr. Scrooge (John Leguizamo) that have taken Trudy (Leah Brady) and her family hostage. Demanding millions of dollars in ransom or Mr. Scrooge and his merry mercenary minions will get to killing everyone present, Santa decides it’s up to him to save Trudy, save Christmas, and most importantly, save himself before the night is over. Oh, and Jolly Old Saint Nick? Yeah, this isn’t the guy you grew up with if murdering people in increasingly more Christmas-themed ways is of any indication.

With a premise like this one, Violent Night seems like a sure-shot bet that if handled correctly, would have given the filmmakers free rein to print money at the box office. From a spot-on Santa casting in David Harbour to a story idea that’s just plain brilliant — especially when capitalizing on the film’s R rating — Violent Night had a lot going for it on the surface until that is, it became apparent pretty quickly that it needed a bit more time in the oven before Christmas morning.

Coming across well enough as a premise because who wouldn’t want to see a movie where Santa stabs someone with a candy cane while spewing merry one-liners after accidentally stepping in reindeer shit, Violent Night tries to accomplish something new and unique within the action/comedy space, but much like its similarly made but bigger budgeted counterpart, Bullet Train, ends up falling short of its own potential. For every clever use of Santa’s “powers” or for every particularly inspired and bloody holiday sequence, there’s a thin story beat, pacing issue, trying-too-hard moment, or missed opportunity that comes across as more head-scratching than anything else. I’m not asking for Oscar gold here, but I think a toddler could dream up more interesting ways to exploit this fantastic idea than what was presented here.

So while this one has a ridiculously good hook that should have made it hard for the filmmakers not to properly capitalize on, Violent Night just doesn’t have the right stuff where it counts to even make it a guilty pleasure flick to stick into your yearly holiday movie rotation. Sure, there are a few scenes that more or less gave me what I was looking for, but as a whole, I left the theater wanting and a bit disappointed, so let’s hope for another potentially better and more fulfilling Violent Night movie gets the greenlight sometime soon.

After seeing this one, it looks like Santa needs to add a few more people to his naughty list this year. Taking place during a time of holiday cheer and goodwill to all, Violent Night follows a rough-around-the-edges Santa Claus (David Harbour) during his annual mad dash around the world as he happens upon a group of mercenaries led by Mr. Scrooge (John Leguizamo) that have taken Trudy (Leah Brady) and her family hostage. Demanding millions of dollars in ransom or Mr. Scrooge and his merry mercenary minions will get to killing everyone present, Santa decides it’s up to him to save Trudy, save Christmas, and most importantly, save himself before the night is over. Oh, and Jolly Old Saint Nick? Yeah, this isn’t the guy you grew up with if murdering people in increasingly more Christmas-themed ways is of any indication. With a premise like this one, Violent Night seems like a sure-shot bet that if handled correctly, would have given the filmmakers free rein to print money at the box office. From a spot-on Santa casting in David Harbour to a story idea that’s just plain brilliant — especially when capitalizing on the film's R rating — Violent Night had a lot going for it on the surface until that is, it became apparent pretty quickly that it needed a bit more time in the oven before Christmas morning. Coming across well enough as a premise because who wouldn’t want to see a movie where Santa stabs someone with a candy cane while spewing merry one-liners after accidentally stepping in reindeer shit, Violent Night tries to accomplish something new and unique within the action/comedy space, but much like its similarly made but bigger budgeted counterpart, Bullet Train, ends up falling short of its own potential. For every clever use of Santa's “powers” or for every particularly inspired and bloody holiday sequence, there’s a thin story beat, pacing issue, trying-too-hard moment, or missed opportunity that comes across as more head-scratching than anything else. I’m not asking for Oscar gold here, but I think a toddler could dream up more interesting ways to exploit this fantastic idea than what was presented here. So while this one has a ridiculously good hook that should have made it hard for the filmmakers not to properly capitalize on, Violent Night just doesn’t have the right stuff where it counts to even make it a guilty pleasure flick to stick into your yearly holiday movie rotation. Sure, there are a few scenes that more or less gave me what I was looking for, but as a whole, I left the theater wanting and a bit disappointed, so let’s hope for another potentially better and more fulfilling Violent Night movie gets the greenlight sometime soon.

6.8

Not A Christmas Miracle

The Verdict

6.8

7

Brian is first and foremost a nerd in every way shape and form. He likes to compare himself to a black hole, consuming any and every form of entertainment unlucky enough to get caught in his gravitational pull. It's not uncommon on any given day for him to read a couple comics, settle down with a good book, watch a few movies (inside and out of the theater), catch up on his ever growing but never depleting Hulu queue, challenge himself with a few good video games, listen to any music he can get his hands on and, of course, write his heart out. He spends every waking moment dreaming up interesting and intriguing concepts and ideas that will hopefully one day inspire and entertain anyone looking for an escape from their daily lives. Graduating from Full Sail University in good old humid Florida, Brian currently lives and works in New York City and is waiting for the day when all he has to do is wake up and create something unique and new for people to enjoy. He is always in the process of writing scripts and stories and is constantly on the lookout for ways to enhance and build his creative drive. After all, life is just one big story, all that really matters is how you strive to make it the best story possible. Disclaimer: Brian does not actually have powdered green skin in case anyone was wondering. A Skrull I am not. Blame the guys at the Color Run for this one.

Comments are closed.