Violent Nights
Picture of Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Violent Nights earns a spot on the nice list

Tommy Wirkola delivers a new fun film for our annual holiday viewing in Universal Pictures Violent Night. It’s another Christmas, and the Lightstone family is getting together. The family includes prodigal son Jason (Alex Hassell), his wife Linda (Alexis Lighter), and their daughter Trudy (Leah Brady). The family’s matriarch is Gertrude Lightstone (Beverly D’Angelo), a foul-mouthed CEO who heads the family corporation and makes her kids fight for her love and money. 

Also in the mix is Alva Lightstone ( Edi Patterson), Gertrude’s hard-drinking daughter, who wants to take over the family business as CEO over her brother Jason. Alva’s family includes a slacker son and Morgan Steel (Cam Gigandet), Alva’s boyfriend and a wannabe action star/filmmaker who wants Gertrude to be the benefactor of his next movie.

The night gets interesting when a team of mercenaries led by Jimmy “Mr. Scrooge” Martinez (John Leguizamo) breaks into the compound on Christmas Eve, taking everyone inside hostage. However, the team isn’t ready for a surprise combatant. Santa Claus (David Harbours) is on the grounds, and he’s about to show why this Nick is no saint.

The film’s script is sharp and witty, and the action sequences are impressive. The cast is having a blast in the movie, but one man truly stands out. David Harbor maintains our trust at all times. He is convincing as a drunken, downtrodden, angry brawler and a disillusioned, shabby man. His greatness easily overcomes the clichéd villains. A few bright spots also happen without Harbor. One of the coolest is inspired by Home Alone.

It’s inconceivable to believe that reindeer poop, a drunk Santa vomiting, and brutal scenes of heads and limbs flying across the screen could be so entertaining during Christmas? Santa often uses Christmas decorations to fight. As you decorate your tree with a Christmas chain, you may forget that it can strangle someone or tie them to a chair. The film’s pace sometimes gets off to a pleasant start and moves smoothly.

The entire film’s plot is just looking for excuses so that the bitter Santa Claus, excellently played by David Harbour, can massacre naughty boys. Violent Night is suitable for lovers of action and crude humor who want to take a break from the pre-Christmas hustle and bustle.


Final Grade: B +

Violent Night is in theaters tomorrow, December 2nd.

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