Violent Night (2022)

Violent Night (2022)

Movie Details

Violent Night (2022)
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Cast: David Harbour, John Leguizamo, and Beverly D’Angelo
Movie type: Action/Comedy
Release date: 2 December 2022
IMDB Rating: 6.7/10
Languages: English
Duration: 1h 52m


Violent Night (2022)


Just a few years ago, it seemed that the action genre was dead. And if not a genre, then at least smaller films with budgets in the tens of millions. Comic books have run the gamut of action heroes, and even if the situation is not fundamentally different today, we have the company 87 North Productions. It belongs to David Leitch, who shot the first John Wick with his partner Chad Stahelski and since then has been shooting his pieces here, or training stars for other action movies with his army of stuntmen and choreographers. Or produces. In short, it does a lot for the genre, which until recently was very skewed. And he is not afraid to throw money and talent into projects that sound a bit strange. Like Violent Night.

Its main character is Santa Claus. Aging, tired, slightly addicted to alcohol, and burnt out. According to him, Christmas isn’t what it used to be, kids just want money and video games, they don’t value anything, and he thinks that after a thousand years, he’ll quit his job. But then he runs into Trudy. She was nice to the little girl who enjoyed Christmas and would like her parents to stop fighting. On top of that, she has to grow up surrounded by stingy and cynical relatives and a rich grandmother who enjoys having her children fight for her attention and money. And now a bunch of killers. They were the ones who decided to spoil Trudy and her family’s Christmas, they shot the security guard and took the happy family hostage. And now they’re trying to get into the vault where the three hundred million dollars is supposed to be. Only Santa can stop them. And his demolition hammer.

The idea of ​​making a variation on Deathtrap and making a tough Santa Claus into an action hero is a lot of fun, but when you think about it for a moment, you realize that you can’t build a feature film on this one forum. Fortunately, it also happened to the creators. Tommy Wirkola is a damn good director, and from the creator of Dead Snow, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, and Journey Towards Reconciliation one automatically expected him to handle this Christmas spectacle as a merry gore full of crazy ideas.

Violent Night gets off to a rather slow start and for a long time looks like a slightly different film than the trailers sold us. Which, of course, I don’t mean as a reproach. Wirkola manages to mix dark humor, fights, shooting, and some creative violence with an unexpectedly Christmas atmosphere. Yeah, they talk dirty here,  David Harbour, as Santa is closer to Thornton from Santa, is a deviation! then to, say, good-natured Tim Allen, but the story, which gives a lot of space to little Trudy, tries to be almost a traditional Christmas movie. With this kind of story, when people fall in the face of Christmas kitsch, find their way back to themselves, forgive themselves for big things, and a child’s joyful smile can heal every broken heart… Sometimes Santa bites someone or impales a killer on a giant icicle, but overall I am very surprised that Violent Night functions to some extent as a classic Christmas story. One in which emotions have almost as much space at the tree as battles, at the end of which people’s heads are on fire. It lacks the extremity of Wirkola’s Journey Towards Reconciliation o, he had to tame himself a bit more in Hollywood, but this genre ambiguity and combining completely different genres and styles suits him. But you weren’t looking forward to the Christmas story, were you?

Just when you start to think a little that Violent Night might not be the wildness that you were looking forward to and that was promised by the name of the handy Noro behind the camera, Santa finally finds the demolition hammer. At that moment, Violent Night shifts into a significantly higher gear and becomes exactly the promised action inferno, in which the bearded fat man in red uncompromisingly crushes, slices, tears, strangles, and massacres everything he can get his hands on. And of course, with the participation of stunt and action aces from 87North Productions, it looks great.

But Wirkola manages to surprise even those viewers who suspected that his games with genres would eventually end in action. I don’t want to reveal the best scenes here, but there will also be some typical Wirkol extreme violence where you just have to start laughing out loud and after one scene you will never watch Home Alone the same again.

But the important thing is that after the first half, when Wirkola experiments a little and holds back a little, Violent Night gets off to a good start and confirms that 87Noth Productions can do these little action movies, they can approach interesting directors and give them enough space to be in within Hollywood possibilities by themselves. Violent Night, despite the perhaps a bit too much of a Christmas start, hits the mark and as the closing credits approach, Wirkol shows off more and more of what we love about him. More or less from the beginning to the end, I had a satisfied smile on my face and even if the first part could have used a faster pace at times, the director and his ideas managed to make up for it in the second half without any problems. If you have at least a little feeling that this Santa McClane might be fun for you, don’t hesitate to visit the cinema.

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