Keith’s Movie Korner: All Is not calm in ‘Silent Night’

By Keith Walther | Rose Law Group Reporter

Who needs dialogue when you have renowned action director, John Woo helming the project. “Silent Night” is the first American made film Woo has directed since 2003’s “Paycheck.” As to be expected, the action is a high intensity, high octane thrill ride that action fans will surely appreciate with a classic revenge story that won’t solicit much in the way of brain activity.

After watching his son die in his arms because of a stray bullet from a gangland shootout, Godlock (Joel Kinnaman) gives immediate chase to measure out his own form of quick justice. The thugs grievously wound the inconsolable father, leaving him for dead. Godlock manages to pull through, but his voice is forever gone, taking away his ability to verbally communicate with his wife Saya (Catalina Sandino Moreno) and putting words to his grief and guilt.

When depression gives way to a renewed purpose for living, Godlock maintains a singular focus to not only rehabilitate his broken body, but to also reinvent himself into something else, something more lethal. Fueled by an internal building rage only a parent could know, he puts together an elaborate plan of vengeance to kill every single gang member involved on the first anniversary of his son’s murder, which happens to be Christmas Eve.

While the plot may be straightforward and simplistic even, veteran director John Woo (“Face/Off” and “Mission: Impossible II”) employs his creativity in his filmmaking style. The action scenes and cinematography are incredibly innovative, making for an almost artistic visual spectacle of violence. Continuous shot sequences along with the transition cuts are smoothly executed, helping to maintain a fast pace. Woo doesn’t stop there, however, increasing the degree of difficulty by creating this film without a single line of dialogue from the entire cast. This does get a little odd when characters just look at each other without saying anything, making it a little less believable.

There are other elements that also defy probability like shooting a gun one handed while driving a car at high speeds in a controlled spin with pinpoint accuracy, reminiscent of the “John Wick” films. John Woo also includes a scene where the main character instigates and participates in a high-speed chase through city streets, trading bullets with the bad guys, which is exactly how his son was killed in the first place. This seems very unlikely and off-putting that the main character would do this, putting other innocent bystanders at risk of catching a stray bullet.

Joel Kinnamann is a talented Swedish actor who made a name for himself on the TV series “The Killing,” paving the way to his first major leading man role in the remake of “Robocop” in 2014. Ironically, he’s most talented at delivering dialogue, so this non-speaking role had to be quite a challenge for him. However, as he’s demonstrated in Netflix’s “Altered Carbon,” he has mastered that quiet, angry, death stare type of look. There are a number of moments in “Silent Night” where his face of burning rage is quite chilling. He also does a good job of incorporating some humanity, especially when his character kills for the first time he displays a look of revulsion over his actions.

If you’re looking for a holiday themed, mind-numbing revenge plot with a deluge of exciting and stylistic action scenes, then this is the Christmas movie for you. “Silent Night” follows in the footsteps of last year’s “Violent Night,” and delivers an entertaining action romp that builds in intensity like a fireworks display.

This movie earns:

Share this!

Additional Articles

News Categories

Get Our Twice Weekly Newsletter!

* indicates required

Rose Law Group pc values “outrageous client service.” We pride ourselves on hyper-responsiveness to our clients’ needs and an extraordinary record of success in achieving our clients’ goals. We know we get results and our list of outstanding clients speaks to the quality of our work.

December 2023