Violent Night – The DVDfever Cinema Review – David Harbour

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Violent Night… Rowdy night? Either way, it’s Christmas Eve, and Santa Claus (David HarbourExtraction) is drunk. He’s the real Santa, even though no-one believes he is…

After doing the job many times over, he’s thinking about giving up the job, because it’s a thankless task, his reindeer poop all over the place, and he barely gets any recognition – even when it comes to drinking in a bar before heading off to complete his night. However, his next stop is about to take rather longer than expected.

Elsewhere in Americaland is the Lightstone family, headed up by matriarch Gertrude (Beverly D’Angelo, such a GILF!), but amongst her hard drinking and everyone else’s sniping, the entire family are all at each other’s throats. So, just like a real family Christmas, then(!)

However, the familial abode has dodgy security who allow the baddies in, led by Jimmy “Mr Scrooge” Martinez (John LeguizamoThe Menu), who’ve come to steal $300m from the family vault, and his henchmen are memorable in part, as they generally each get a chance to shine amongst the script. Given that Santa is bumping off baddies one at a time, this makes it initially feel like a Die Hard homage, but then that continues, since the only one who believes in him is the young Trudy (Leah Brady).

She just so happens to be given an early Christmas present of a walkie-talkie which she’s told allows her to talk to Santa. As you’d expect, before long, she WILL be able to do just that, which rather makes her the Sgt Al Powell of the movie.

In fact, there’s also some Die Hard 2 elements, such as a stabbing with a stalactite, and a tactical team coming in to deal with the baddies. I know plans are afoot to make a sequel if this one takes enough money, so maybe they’ll plunder that one some more and set it in an airport, upon which Santa has parked his sleigh.

On the plus side, Violent Night is quite tongue in cheek and has occasional one-liners, such as Santa barking into a baddie’s walkie talkie after he’s offed them and is talking to their colleagues, “Santa Claus is coming to town!”

However, at 112 mins, it’s way overlong. From the trailer, I expected a lot going on, but there’s just a few fights, and it’s so slow inbetween, making it not that violent at all. I haven’t seen Nobody, which some of the crew were also involved in, but I hear that’s a lot more ‘busy’ in that respect. Plus, in this film, all the fights are in the dark, which really lessens their impact! Jeez, don’t you guys know how to light a set?!

The Home Alone tribute stunts were much better than the original, however, but next time, cut down on the running time a bit, and have MORE fights!

There’s also a mid-credits scene after the first part of the credits:

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

Before the movie, however, and following on from Violent Night having a few big laughs, there was a trailer for Cocaine Bear, which was hilarious… about a huge grizzly bear in the woods who just happens to ingest some of the stuff, and then goes on a crazy rampage. It’s also one of Ray Liotta’s final movies.

There was also a couple of lads in the cinema who, about three times, took pictures of what was onscreen with a very bright flash. Now, this can get you kicked out because you’re infringing copyright, and later on, I saw one of the staff members coming in with a device to check for anyone using recording equipment.

However, after the third time this happened, I looked back to where it was taking place – several rows back – and saw a burly man, about two rows behind them, come down to their row to remonstrate with them, and clearly indicate that if they don’t stop, they’ll soon know about it. Kudos to him! đŸ˜€

And if you remember from earlier trips, when I saw Smile and Halloween Ends, and I saw two clowns in front of me and to the left, who kept chattering away during the films… well, I didn’t see them again, but I did see another couple who I’ve seen before at least once, who always sit on the front row, but are very quiet and considerate. In fact, I also saw them the week before, at She Said.

Violent Night is in cinemas now, and is available to pre-order on Blu-ray and DVD.

Violent Night – Official Trailer – Universal Pictures

Cocaine Bear – Official Trailer – Universal Pictures

Detailed specs:

Running time: 112 minutes
Release date: December 2nd 2022
Studio: Universal Pictures UK
Format: 2.39:1 (Anamorphic Panavision)
Cinema: Cineworld Didsbury
Rating: 6/10

Director: Tommy Wirkola
Producers: Guy Danella, David Leitch, Kelly McCormick
Screenplay: Pat Casey, Josh Miller
Music: Dominic Lewis

Santa Claus: David Harbour
Jimmy “Mr Scrooge” Martinez: John Leguizamo
Jason Lightstone: Alex Hassell
Linda: Alexis Louder
Morgan Steel: Cam Gigandet
Alva Lightstone: Edi Patterson
Gertrude Lightstone: Beverly D’Angelo
Trudy Lightstone: Leah Brady
Bertrude: Alexander Elliot
Krampus: Brendan Fletcher
Gingerbread: André Eriksen
Commander Thorp: Mike Dopud
Candy Cane: Mitra Suri
Sugarplum: Stephanie Sy
Lead Bodyguard: Sean Skene
Richard: Erik Athavale
Frosty: Can Aydin
Techie: Cha-Lee Yoon
Tinsel: Phong Giang
Bar Patron: Frederick Allen
Grounds Security: Vance Halldorson
Pub Santa: John B Lowe
Lightstone Security: BJ Verot
Mercenary: DJ Brotherson (uncredited)
Jingle: Finn McCager Higgins (uncredited)