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Violent Night (Film Review)

3 min read

Universal Pictures

has had its fair share of copycats across a variety of different locations and settings, but what if someone made Die Hard but as a film? Some people would argue that Die Hard already is a Christmas film (those people would be wrong) but turns the Christmas up a couple more notches with Santa Claus himself taking on the role of John McClane this time around. What follows is one of the best Christmas films ever made and it even out-Die Hard's Die Hard.

Violent Night sees (Stranger Things, Black Widow) take the reigns as Father Christmas having to save the day and kill the bad guys. When and his team of mercenaries, all with Christmas themed codenames, take the Lightstone family hostage in an attempt to steal the $300 million locked in their personal vault, there's only one man who can save them.

But Harbour's Santa is certainly not your traditional Saint Nick. When we first meet him he's drinking beers and throwing up in a pub in England instead of delivering presents. Instead of the milk that kids leave out for him he prefers something a little stronger to keep him going through the night and he's sure to find the liquor cabinet in each house before heading back up the chimney.

Universal Pictures

A drunk, unstable Santa makes for the perfect hero. And Violent Night really delivers on the action scenes. It's ultra-violent and pretty damn bloody with some of the kills being sure to land Santa on his own naughty list. Violent Night really cleverly integrates Christmas into every single fight scene to make each and every action scene stand out, making Violent Night a great action film in its own right and not just another Die Hard rip-off. It's brutal and gory but still full of festive cheer.

Despite his incessant drinking, Violent Night's Santa does care and there is a lot of heart to the film. Of course, it has heart, that's one of the crucial ingredients of a Christmas film. But the bond he shares with young Trudy Lightstone when taking down the evil mercenaries really adds a level of emotion to the film.

On top of all this action and heart, it's ridiculously funny too. In fact, sometimes all in the same scene. There's one moment involving a nutcracker, and some, shall we say, nut cracking, that has you squirming in your seat whilst simultaneously laughing your head off. And in addition to all this, Violent Night features what might just be the funniest movie quote of 2022 towards the big finale of the film. It cleverly pays homage to Christmas classics like Home Alone and Die Hard whilst also doing its own thing. It's not being a copycat but  instead it's bringing something new to the table.

Violent Night is packed full of festive fun, ferocious fights and a Santa performance for the ages. David Harbour slays as the sleigh-riding Santa Claus. This will be one of those Christmas classics that you watch year after year after year.

Violent Night releases in UK Cinemas on December 2nd.