John Woo’s new film, while set at Christmas and with a festive-sounding title, certainly isn’t about to become a holiday favourite.
In fact, the Christmas element is irrelevant – so there will be no debate over whether this is a Christmas film. It’s not.
What ‘Silent Night’ is, however, is unique and experimental. The film lives up to its name – it’s a silent film, with sound. Not a single piece of dialogue is said throughout the movie.
This is a classic revenge flick – we watch as the main couple (Joel Kinnaman and Catalina Sandino Moreno) lose their only son to a stray bullet in their own front yard, after gang warfare turns ugly in their suburban street.
Through all the grunts and sound effects that follow, the mother attempts to painfully move on from the tragedy, while the father is determined to deliver payback.
He spends the next few months working out, building up his strength and skillset, ready to take down the gang members.
There’s no shock twists here and the whole thing is rather predictable, but the uniqueness of the ‘silent’ concept keeps it interesting.
This is a movie very much about its actions and its emotions; which it has to be, given the lack of dialogue.
I’m not convinced it couldn’t have been a decent action flick without the experimental aspect, but it certainly gives it a little more punch.
Far from a classic, but not a bad way to spend a little over 90 minutes.
See this movie at Hoyts Penrith.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Breaking News Reporter. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations. In 2023, he was named Editor of the Year at the Mumbrella Publish Awards.