Release Date: OUT NOW! U | 102 minutes Director: Christopher Smith Christopher
Smith’s previous films ( Creep, Severance, Black
Death) hardly seem ideal preparation for a Yuletide fantasy about an ex- convict ( Rafe Spall) coming to the aid of a downed Father Christmas ( Jim Broadbent). Yet the bracing black comedy of those horrors remains detectable here, especially when Saint Nick gets banged up and has to reinvent himself as a hardened lag to survive behind bars.
A subsequent shift into Polar Express territory isn’t successful, due in part to a dreary North Pole and flying sleigh effects that stay defiantly earthbound. That said, we were tickled by the nods to The Shawshank Redemption and The Godfather. Neil Smith