"Santa Comes to the Rescue"
What You Need To Know:
VIOLENT NIGHT is structured to give viewers as many thrills and laughs as possible, but the characters, dialogue and situations are shallow in places. VIOLENT NIGHT has a few positive nods to the meaning of Christmas and the legend of Santa Claus. For example, a major confrontation between the family, Santa and the thieves occurs at the family’s outdoor Nativity display. VIOLENT NIGHT is filled with bloody, sometimes gruesome, action violence and constant foul language. Even worse, some of the bloody violence and foul language is designed to titillate the viewer’s baser instincts, sometimes in comical ways. So, media-wise viewers should stay away from VIOLENT NIGHT.
VIOLENT NIGHT is an R-rated action comedy where Santa Claus comes to the aid of a little girl and her wealthy, dysfunctional family who are terrorized by a band of ruthless thieves. VIOLENT NIGHT has a few positive nods to the meaning of Christmas and the legend of Santa Claus, but it’s filled with bloody, sometimes gruesome, action violence and constant foul language.
The movie opens with little Trudy Lightstone and her estranged parents, Jason and Linda, arriving at her wealthy grandmother’s mansion on Christmas Eve. Jason’s mother, Trudy’s grandmother, is a no-nonsense, rude, foul-mouthed businesswoman. Also at the mansion is Jason’s sister, Alva, her teenage son, Bert, and her boyfriend, Morgan, a self-centered action star.
Trudy’s father, Jason, gives Trudy one of his old working toy walkie talkies when his estranged wife, Linda, complains that he forgot to take Trudy to see Santa at the mall this year. So, Trudy uses the walkie talkie to ask Santa to bring her mommy and daddy back together again.
At this point, a band of ruthless thieves break into the mansion and holds everyone hostage. The leader, who calls himself Scrooge, demands the family matriarch tell him where she put the millions of dollars she embezzled from the American government for some Middle Eastern jobs her company was doing. He threatens the lives of a family member including Trudy, for the information.
Meanwhile, Santa Claus and his reindeer arrive on the mansion’s roof. He berates one of the reindeer for relieving itself on the roof. Inside, he enjoys some milk and cookies, plus some whiskey. When one of the thieves shoots off his machine gun, the sound of the gunfire scares away Santa’s reindeer. Eventually, Santa and Trudy secretly establish a rapport using the toy walkie talkie and the walkie talkie of one of the thieves Santa has dispatched.
So, the question becomes, can Santa save Trudy and her family from the thieves and their ruthless leader, who hates Christmas and everything it stands for, including Santa?
VIOLENT NIGHT contains references to the original DIE HARD movie, including a comical reference to the late Clarence Gilyard, Jr.’s character in that movie unlocking the vault in the Nakatomi Towers. The movie is structured to give viewers as many thrills and laughs as possible, like DIE HARD, but the characters, dialogue and situations here are shallow and campy in places. For example, the leader of the thieves is depicted as mean and clever, up to a point, but not really as cold and brilliant as the wily Hans Gruber of DIE HARD. Also, there’s the stereotypical greedy sister with the snotty son, not to mention the stereotypical uncaring matriarch figure, who could just have easily been an uncaring patriarch. The most appealing character in VIOLENT NIGHT, of course, is the little girl, Trudy, played by Leah Brady.
VIOLENT NIGHT has a few positive nods to the meaning of Christmas and the legend of Santa Claus. For example, a major confrontation between the family, Santa and the thieves occurs at the family’s outdoor Nativity display. There are a couple references to the Baby Jesus in that sequence. Also, there’s talk in one scene about Trudy’s innocence and goodness saving another character’s faith in Christmas. Clearly, viewers are meant to side with the family, despite their problems, against the thieves.
That said, VIOLENT NIGHT is filled with bloody, sometimes gruesome, action violence and abundant foul language. Even worse, some of the bloody violence and foul language is designed to titillate the viewer’s baser instincts, sometimes in comical ways. So, media-wise viewers should stay away from VIOLENT NIGHT.
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