Rob’s Entertainment Review for:
This is one of those movies that no one can possibly make sound good…in fact, if I had read about it, instead of seeing the trailer, I would have been making fun of this movie endlessly, rather than giving it a chance…but here goes.
Mel Gibson plays Chris Cringle, yes, the real Santa Claus in modern times as Christmas spirit continues to wane year by year and children seem to become more and more troubled and less enamored with the innocence and magic of the holiday and Saint Nick, himself.
Meanwhile, a wealthy and precocious young boy in anywhere, America loses a science project and then hatches a revenge plot against his female classmate that is part soul chilling and part worth a giggle. How do these things connect?
Santa gives the boy a lump of coal for Christmas and the boy decides to enlist the aid of a ruthlessly trained assassin, played brilliantly and maniacally by Walter Goggins, who’s one of “those guys,” that may be best known for playing Boyd Crowder in “Justified.” Yes…you are following this…a hitman is going to try to find and kill Santa Claus.
When I watched the trailer, I kept asking myself “is this a comedy?” They describe it officially as a “dark comedy/thriller.” I’d say the emphasis is on dark,” and would suggest it’s more of a psychological thriller than anything. There is about 20 minutes of action in the final 40 minutes of the film, but it’s almost a distraction to following the psyche of the hitman and Santa himself, not to mention Chris’ relationship with his African American wife, Ruth.
See? I told you it would sound stupid. IT ISN’T!! It’s sooooooooooo good! There are intentionally “funny” moments that are used to re-enforce just how psycho some of the characters are; and, to be completely candid, Mel Gibson is simply fantastic in the lead role, right down to the final moments of the movie. It’s available on demand immediately and worth the rent for sure; it runs just an hour and 40 minutes and is a great escape from everything in the world today.
And yes, after it’s over, and you start “thinking,” of course there are all sorts of plot holes. Don’t ruin it…just enjoy it.