“Violent Night”

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8.4

Did I overshoot this one rating-wise? Possibly. That being said, it’s absolutely amazing at what it set out to be, and then some. What I figured would be a solid holiday action meeting ended up leading me and everyone else in the theater through a tour of all of the emotions. We laughed, we cried, we almost threw up because seeing some of the kills would make John Wick blush… It was AMAZING.

David Harbour plays Santa with a refreshing take. Who knew St. Nick had a relationship with a war hammer akin to Thor and Mjölnir? That being said, Leah Brady steals the show, and gives the film its heart. The chemistry she and Santa have grounds him in a way that’s necessary with such violence on display, providing the necessary motivation to make us root for Santa to not just take them off the naughty list, but off this earth.

The bad guys were a little one-dimensional, but it’s excusable given the strengths of the other characters. This and “Bullet Train” gave me faith this year. If we believe… Hollywood will give us great action movies! All it takes is a little literal Christmas magic.

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