News culture “Christmas dies tonight”: Violent Night, an action comedy with David Harbor (Stranger Things) between “Mom, I missed the plane!” and Die Hard
Published on 11/30/2022 at 08:05
The month of December is synonymous with end-of-year celebrations, gifts under the tree, dinner with the family, but also family films specifically designed for this winter period. However, Universal Pictures decided in 2022 to do an about-face with Violent Night, an irreverent and trashy action comedy, at odds with cinematographic traditions.
Violent Night in a nutshellSanta Claus is garbage
Violent Night in a nutshell
Violent Night is an action comedy directed by Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters) and written by Pat Casey and Josh Miller. This duo notably collaborated on Sonic, the movie (2020) and its soberly titled sequel Sonic 2, the movie (2022). Having become essential on the international scene with his roles in the Netflix series Stranger Things and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU), David Harbor is the star of this feature film which revisits the long-awaited Christmas Eve in its own way. One thing is certain, nothing will go as planned.
Santa Claus faces in this month of December 2022 a band of mercenaries, closer to the Under-gifted than to an elite unit, whose leader is none other than John Leguizamo (Super Mario Bros., Romeo + Juliet, John Wick). The latter storms with his henchmen the estate of a wealthy North American family whose members are played by Alex Hassell, Alexis Louder, Leah Brady, Beverly D’Angelo, Edi Patterson and finally Cam Gigandet. Here is the official synopsis of Violent Night which hits theaters on November 30, 2022:
When a team of mercenaries break into the compound of a wealthy family on Christmas Eve, taking everyone hostage, the team isn’t ready to face an unexpected fighter. Santa Claus is in the field, and he’s about to show why he’s not a saint. -Universal Pictures
Santa Clause is garbage
France had in 1982 Father Christmas is garbage. The United States is forty years later Violent Night. To each his own style ! Santa Claus clearly didn’t make the trip to string pearls, but to distribute chestnuts, and he does it with a generosity that belongs only to him. For 1 hour and 52 minutes, David Harbour, draped in a filthy red suit, gives a tough lesson in good manners to a band of broken arms led by an equally exuberant gang leader, played in full first degree by a John Leguizamo of the big nights.
But let’s go back for a few minutes to our disillusioned anti-hero adept at homemade cookies dipped in a glass of warm milk. David Harbor delivers a touching performance tinged with gentle violence, and never skimps on brute force to punish the naughty rascals who ruin Christmas night for a dysfunctional family of the wealthy. Intelligence is not the first quality of our group of robbers who pay the price for their stupidity as well as talents for the fight of a reassembled Santa Claus. The one who plays Red Guardian (or Gardien Rouge in French) in the MCU wields a war hammer with unsuspected dexterity that pulverizes the poor buggers who have the misfortune to find themselves in his way.
Violent Night is an anti-Christmas movie, and is not to be put in front of everyone’s eyes. Although the tone is ultra light, Tommy Wirkola’s film is dirty, and shamelessly defiles the immaculate white snow of this remote corner of the United States. Hemoglobin flows freely there. Red being the color of Christmas, Violent Night is in a tone-on-tone sense, and is wrapped in a cartoonish violence that is pleasing to see. From simple smiles to roars of laughter, there’s only one punchline, “What the Fuck” situation carried by David Harbor and the rest of the cast having fun on camera. Faced with such a debauchery of fun, the spectator that I am can only be receptive. Violent Night is the result of a strange fusion between Mom, I missed the plane and Die Hard (Piège de cristal from its French title) which delights the big children that we are.