The New Face of Christmas
The wife and I stopped down Christmas night to enjoy one more holiday movie. We scrolled through the titles looking for something new and fresh to enjoy after a long day of Christmas traditions. I'd heard some good things about Mel Gibson's newest movie, and one look at the movie poster convinced us to give it a shot.
We had already enjoyed his other Christmas movie on the 24th. A movie, which for some reason, isn't treated with the same Christmas reverence as Bruce Willis's Die Hard. Of course, I'm speaking of one of the greatest action movies, Lethal Weapon. The beginning of yet another franchise for Gibson in the 80s and directed by the great Richard Donner. Although I think the reason the movie still holds up is the writer, Shane Black. He just knows how to write great movies - but that is another blog post.
Today we are focusing on the man who could soon be known as Mr. Christmas.
Luckily I have Lethal Weapon on HD-DVD so I could watch it but the only way to stream it for free right now is if you have HBO. Many have grabbed it so they can enjoy WB's Wonder Woman's newest movie so if that's you, I suggest giving it a view.
Now back to Mel Gibson's newest action movie, Fatman.
A rowdy, unorthodox Santa Claus is fighting to save his declining business. Meanwhile, Billy, a neglected and precocious 12-year-old, hires a hitman to kill Santa after receiving a lump of coal in his stocking.
After reading the movie's blurb, you can see how this might be a very silly look at Christmas or maybe even something that slips into the realm of horror, but it found a way to toe the line through the entire picture. Which is the reason this movie works in my opinion. The movie takes a fantasy and grounds it in reality. The magical sparkle of Christmas and Santa Claus has been wiped away, leaving us with a Santa facing hard times and living with a bellyful of disillusion.
And yet in this world where Santa drives a pickup truck, receives money from the Government to continue his work, and holds tight the rules of the naughty and nice list, the viewer sees how much the magic of Christmas affects the characters throughout the movie.
The cast around Gibson is topnotch and they lend a weight of believably to the movie as it moves forward. I don't think they could have found a better "Skinny Man" than Walton Goggins to play the hitman/Santa hater. Marianne Jean-Baptiste shines as Mrs. Claus, a grounded voice of reason to the volatile Chris Kringle.
Usually, this movie would be in the theaters but since Covid has played havoc with the Hollywood system, they went straight to VOD. Right now Amazon has the to buy price and rent price the same at $6.99. Grab it so you can add this funny violent holiday movie to your December rotation...although honestly, this movie could play anytime of the year.