In this gripping crime thriller written and directed by Oscar winner Ben Affleck, Santa Claus plays an FBI agent hell bent on capturing a band of bank robbers who go on a crime spree just in time for Christmas.
Set in Affleck’s native Boston, the film evokes memories of other Boston crime flicks like “Gone, Baby, Gone”, “Mystic River” and “The Departed”.
Santa Claus gives a dynamic performance, and very well might find himself on the Nice List when Oscar nominations are announced next month. He teams up with John Hamm’s dogged FBI agent on a mission. Together, the two men vow to take down the team before Christmas Eve so that Christmas does not have to be canceled (the plot gets a little confusing when explaining why Christmas might get canceled, but the guys rob banks disguised as nuns, so who cares about that minor plot point???).
Affleck, playing the leader of the Townie bank crew, falls in love with a teller they take hostage in the film’s opening scene. He trails her to make sure she can’t give them up to the FBI, and falls for her when he discovers she also works as an Elf at the Santa’s Village in a local department store.
Jeremy Renner, as the second in command of the crew, gives an over the top performance that left me glad I do all my banking online. His character hates Christmas because of a childhood trauma linked to the Holiday, so he is more than happy to take down Santa Claus once he finds out the big man is on the case.
I give this film my top rating of Five Golden Rings. Go see it today because Santa is making a list, checking it twice, and is going to consider you Naughty if you don’t see his new flick.