Fatman Displaces Die Hard as Best Action Christmas Movie

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Fatman Blu-ray

DIE HARD has just been dethroned as the ultimate men's adventure and action Christmas movie. FATMAN is a violent tale filled with dark comedy in which Mel Gibson plays Chris Cringle, a grumpy toymaker who lives in the far north. This is no allusory setup. The filmmaker's play it straight that this really is Santa Claus, existing and operating in a world that, for all other intents and purposes, is completely realistic.

Chris's problem is that he's producing fewer toys each year -- not due to any lack of production capabilities, but for the lack of deserving children. Unfortunately, the subsidy contract he has with the U.S. government pays him based on his production levels, and now he's not pulling in enough to survive.The solution comes to Chris in the form of another government contract -- one for the military. It's not an ideal situation for Chris, but as a temporary stop-gap, he's willing to take it.

What Chris doesn't realize is that he has a bigger problem coming his way. Young Billy Wenan, the narcissistic, sociopathic child of an absent billionaire parent, has gotten what he deserved for Christmas this year -- the traditional lump of coal. Enraged, little Billy does what any angry child with access to millions of dollars would do: he contracts a hit on Santa. 

Enter Walter Goggins, who dominates every scene he's in. Walter plays a contract killer who has a unique side hobby: he buys childhood dreams away from people. If someone ever got what they wanted for Christmas, complete with the brass-plate "Made in Santa's Workshop" tag, then he buys it from them and adds it to his collection. An amoral killer with a love for nothing but his hamster, the "Skinny Man" begins unearthing the clues necessary for him to track down his elusive quarry, setting both men on a collision course to a bloody, deadly end.

Rounding out the cast is Marianne Jean-Baptist as Ruth Cringle, Chris's anchor in turbulent times; Robert Bockstael as Captain Jacobs, the military man overseeing the temporary contract work done by Chris's elven workforce; Eric Woolfe as Seven, the elf foreman; and Ellison Grier Butler, who delivers an excellent debut performance as Christine Crawford, a classmate of Billy's who feels his wrath when she beats him in a competition.

FATMAN is rated R for bloody violence and language, so it's definitely the kind of Christmas film enjoyed with some beers and a cigar, but not kids. This one is bound to be a cult classic as more people discover this underrated gem of a movie.

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0