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Violent Night Blu-ray Review

David Harbour makes “Violent Night” worth watching.

Christmas time has come but Santa isn’t feeling jolly. In fact, he’s rather jaded, troubled, and grouchy. While delivering presents to a mansion housing a rather dysfunctional family (and an innocent young girl named Trudy), Santa finds himself caught in the middle of a hostage situation. It seems a group of mercenaries led by Scrooge are holding the family hostage for $300 million. Wanting to save Trudy, Santa (who was a former Viking warrior) decides to intervene to try and save Trudy and her family. 

Given that the producers of John Wick are involved, you can probably guess that director Tommy Wirkola’s “Violent Night” isn’t your typical Christmas movie. Writers Pat Casey and Josh Miller’s script is a bit weird from a tonal perspective. It’s a Christmas movie, it’s a violent action movie, it’s a cynical dark comedy, and there are cheerful heartfelt moments too.  It’s essentially “John Wick” meets “Bad Santa,” “Home Alone” (complete with traps), and especially “Die Hard.” Does it all mix well together? It’s hit-and-miss. The comedy is never quite as impactful as it could have been (though there are some laugh out loud moments). The story itself doesn’t amount to much but it’s a fun diversion/action movie. Speaking of the action, it’s the movie’s strong suit. From Santa’s resourceful fights to his merciless slaughter of a whole squad, Santa certainly punishes the naughty here in an over-the-top fashion (although the Viking past element is bizarre).

“Violent Night” may not be a Christmas classic, but one thing is certain- David Harbour crushes it as Santa. The actor (who is best known for “Stranger Things”) really commits to the role. You buy his troubled Santa, his action sequences, and his heartfelt moments. He really sells the movie as a whole. Without his performance, the whole movie would collapse. Leah Brady also turns in a fine performance as Trudy. She’s the heart of the movie and plays well off of Harbour. John Leguizamo (who has shown a  lot of range in his career) is a memorable villain as Scrooge.


Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p. How does it look? Expect a sharp transfer.

Audio Track: 7.1 DS-HD MA. How does it sound? A lively 7.1 track (especially during action scenes).

* Digital copy
* DVD copy
* Universal trailers
* Commentary by Tommy Wirkola, producer Guy Danella and writers Pat Casey and Josh Miller.
* 8 deleted scenes and a little over 6 ½ minutes of extended scenes.
* “Quarrelin’ Kringle”- A featurette with set footage, film clips, interviews, and discussions about this interpretation of Santa.
* “Santa’s Helpers: The Making Of Violent Night”- A short 6 minute making of featurette.
* “Deck The Halls With Brawls”- This bonus feature covers the action sequences.


February 8, 2023 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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