Movies about Christmas long ago turned into an independent genre. They come out regularly and sometimes several pieces a year, so that everyone can choose something to their taste. Given that Christmas happens every year, its constant display in movies has long had time to get tired. But filmmakers do not stop, regularly trying to find a non-standard approach. “Furious Night” is another such attempt. We tell you in the review below how it turned out.
Genre Christmas action movie
Directed by Tommy Wirkola
Starring David Harbor, John Leguizamo, Cam Gigandet, Alex Hessell, Alexis Lauder, Leah Brady
Release year 2022
The main character of the film is Santa Claus himself (David Garbor). However, he does not look like a traditional good character here. The local Santa is a brutal alcoholic and brawler who has long been disillusioned with Christmas. However, he still has his own moral code. It is he who enables Santa to come to the aid of the girl Trudy (Leah Brady) and her family, who were held hostage by criminals demanding $300 million. And the main character has no intention of having a ceremony with “naughty children”.
The idea of making Santa Claus into a not-so-positive character is far from new. The same “Bad Santa” was released in 2003, and they tried to turn Santa into a villain back in “Futurama”. The image itself is so drawn out that it is almost impossible to add something new to it.
Therefore, “Fruity Night” does not try to go too far from the canons of Christmas in this regard. The local Santa is quite “real”, with reindeer, a wagon and a list of good-naughty children. Only he is still an ancient Viking warrior who previously participated in the fiercest battles. And this is reflected in his relationship with bandits.
The film is rated R, so be prepared that this is far from a children’s story. Violence and brutality are not shy to show here in all the details. And the blood still whips in all directions. Taking into account the Christmas decorations, which are present in almost every frame, a rather interesting contrast is obtained.
The authors of “Furious Night” turned the theme of Christmas into a weapon for the main character. Christmas decorations are used here to punish criminals. And sometimes it turns out creatively, and sometimes – as “head-on” as possible with an additional share of cruelty. There was a nod to “Home Alone”, which turned out to be quite bloody in “Furious Night”.
The general level of violence in some places is surprising and even repulsive. Especially considering that the main idea of the film is not to savor the murders that Santa Claus commits. The authors do not forget to promote the theme of the Christmas miracle and family unity. Only this is very embarrassing.
That is, yes, at the end, Santa himself will believe in a miracle again, and so will the other characters. This is not even particularly a spoiler, because the very essence of Christmas movies lies in waiting for such a resolution. Perhaps it would be even better if the authors moved away from the classic ending.
But the main problem is not even that. When Santa isn’t killing all the villains, the writers try to build expressive dialogue and scripted character development. And in this regard, there is practically nothing but cringe in “Furious Night”. When in the first fifteen minutes of the film’s running time, the film releases one of the worst attempts in cinema to make a joke about the terrorist attack on September 11, that says a lot. And not at all in a good way.
In this regard, you don’t want to cling to the character of David Harbor in any way. The actor squeezes the most out of his image and always looks very nice in the frame. Even when he does not particularly pleasant things. You care about the local Santa from the very first scene, the character does not let go of you until the very end.
But the same cannot be said about other heroes. That the hostages and the criminals turned out to be overly caricatured. The positive characters here are disgustingly disgusting, the negative characters are stereotypical to the extreme. They are trying to unite all of them with the theme of Christmas, at the same time demonstrating how different emotions this holiday can evoke in different people. But it doesn’t turn out very well.
The film itself does not seem to know what it wants to be on an ideological level. He is best at showing brutal and moderately creative murders in the entourage of Christmas. But it seems that “Furious Night” is not about them at all, but primarily about Santa and a little girl, who together need to believe in Christmas magic again.
This approach is somewhat confusing. After watching it, it is difficult to understand what exactly the film was made for. It lacks integrity and focus on central themes. “Furious Night” tries to be two very different works at once – but, as often happens in similar situations, the film fails to become at least one worthy.
And the producers already have plans to continue and almost turn the movie into their own franchise. In which the bet will be made on a “brutal” image of the classic attributes of Christmas. The idea seems to be attractive, but after the performance in “Furious Night” it raises tangible doubts.
Pros: David Harbor’s acting, colorful Christmas-themed killing spree, not the most standard approach to the image of Santa Claus Cons: faded characters, weak script, the film’s uncertainty in its ideas, boring and boring main idea, cringe humor Conclusion:
Furious Night is far from the best movie to get in the Christmas spirit. And it’s not even a matter of constant brutal murders, there are no problems with them. It’s just that in another movie it turned out to be so idealess that it won’t have a special effect on the audience. Unless it makes you want to see more worthy works about Christmas