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Review Violent Night (2022): Die Hard with Santa Claus!

genre: die hard clone, christmas, action, crime, thriller

When I saw the trailer, this film was presented as a different kind of Christmas film. In the same vein as Fatman but with more stylish action. Not surprising since this is produced by David Leith, one of the people behind John Wick, Deadpool 2 and Atomic Blonde. And to be honest, I was very much looking forward to this concept, since any excuse to give me this kind of action is wonderful to me. 

But, for whatever reason, they chose a slightly different route. The action is cartoonish yet violent and gruesome. Very reminiscent of Home Alone, another Christmas classic. So this could be seen as a take on that. However, the meta goes further than that. I myself wasn't aware of this fact, though. Other film fans pointed this out to me. Apparently in 1989 a French film was made called Deadly Games which came out before Home Alone, and it's writer / director accused the makers of Home Alone of plagiarism. Call me intrigued. I really have to check out that film if I get a hold of it, and I will definitely do a review and comparison to both Home Alone and Violent Night. Mind you, this does point out Hollywood's laziness to produce original films. Yes, I also was under the impression Violent Night was somewhat of an original film inspired by Christmas classics to bring us something fresh and creative. Santa Claus in the John McClane role John Wick style certainly would have been fresh and exciting. But like I said, they opted for the blood and gore. Granted, it's effective, but not that memorable.

While the overall concept should not be taken that seriously, it is refreshing to see how events are taken seriously. It adds to the tension and urgency. Especially since Santa is at a very low point in his life and basically is about to give up. However, Trudy, a little girl, has infinite faith in Santa and that no matter what he will do the right thing. Her faith is so motivational and inspiring to him that he exactly does what is expected of him. The cynic in me kind of wanted to see the opposite, just to see what would have happened then. But yes, I can't ignore the fact that it did feel good to see Santa kick ass on behalf of the people who believe in him and the spirit of Christmas.

Overall, Violent Night is a lot of fun and definitely one I can recommend even when it's pretty forgettable.

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