Bad Action and Rage Fuels Silent Night

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Silent Night Review
Joel Kinnaman as Godlock in Silent Night. Photo Credit: Carlos Latapi

We’ve seen countless revenge-fueled action movies, and adding to that list is the new John Woo action movie Silent Night. It follows a father on a revenge mission to kill the gang members who were at fault for the loss of his son and shooting him which made him lose his ability to talk. Which, on its own, a father losing a child is enough for him to want revenge. But unfortunately, that is where the movie and the story fall apart.

The loss of a child is unfortunate and something that no parent should have to go through and of course can push anyone to their breaking point. And while the Godlock (Joel Kinnaman) is on his mission – his wife Saya (Catalina Sandino Moreno) is basically disregarded in what she’s going through. Not only has Saya lost a child as well, but almost lost her husband and helped him through his recovery process. Only to be disregarded, discarded, and left on her own while he sets a revenge plan in motion. The inward focus of Godlock highlights the utter disregard for everyone else, including the countless people he ends up killing that didn’t have anything to do with the death of his child. His goal is singular, toxic, and very obviously edging on racist as he starts killing anyone who may be in a gang or is Latino in his area.

Joel Kinnaman as Godlock in Silent Night. Photo Credit: Carlos Latapi

So where does this go wrong? Or should we say, where else? Godlock is injured and cannot talk above a whisper. And somehow this made the creative decision that no one else in the movie can talk. However, music and radios work just fine. Cops don’t announce themselves, wives don’t talk to their husbands. It’s almost like they thought that conversation or dialogue gets in the way of the action in the movie. But that wouldn’t have saved it.

Instead, we have a main character who has one flawed goal and is going on a killing mission no matter what. He gets a major injury the day before but other than a minor limp – he’s able to fight almost to the level of John Wick who was professionally trained. He drives through a gang war that he started with his windows down in the of a gunfight. His stereotypical Mustang whips through the fighting and never gets a major hit to stop the vehicle or him, and after picking up an innocent cop who was injured in the brawl, drops her body out of the car with barely any emotion.

The action is almost laughably bad, but despite all of that there is one shining thing – the stunt driving. Of course, you can’t base the whole movie on the stunt driving, and the Fast series has proven they take those movies to more extreme levels. And even in those ridiculous movies they have more of a story than Silent Night is trying to pass off.

Silent Night is being billed as a Christmas-themed movie. But without a few scenes of an aging Christmas tree in the living room and the “bad guy” wearing a Santa hat – there is nothing Christmas about the movie. It just is a mess of jumbled action scenes and random rage killing that was added to a Christmas season release.

Unlike last year’s holiday action movie release Violent Night, this sloppy action movie won’t be bringing joy or be on anyone’s wish list this year. Silent Night will be in theaters everywhere on December 1st.

Overall Rating:

Two Stars Review

About Silent Night:

Silent Night

From legendary director John Woo and the producer of John Wick comes this gritty revenge tale of a tormented father (Joel Kinnaman) who witnesses his young son die when caught in a gang’s crossfire on Christmas Eve. While recovering from a wound that costs him his voice, he makes vengeance his life’s mission and embarks on a punishing training regimen in order to avenge his son’s death. Full of Woo’s signature style, Silent Night redefines the action genre with visceral, thrill-a-minute storytelling.

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