Director: Martin Wooden
Writers: Brian Sawyer, Gregg Rossen
Solid: Kat Graham, Alexander Ludwig, Virginia Madsen, Aliza Vellani, Janet Kidder
Streaming on: Netflix
Proper off the bat, this movie had a variety of potential to liven up everybody’s jaded and prickly actuality proper now. The movie’s cutesy and tacky spin to a decades-old humanitarian mission by the usAir Pressure is a reasonably respectable mannequin to offer us a pleasing, Meyers-esque watch. However Netflix’s Operation Christmas Drop squanders each alternative it will get. It’s a tedious drag that fails to recreate the tried-and-tested method of feel-good vacation movies.
The movie takes off with auto-tuned Christmas songs and carols. It’s excessively however unapologetically tinted with the vacation spirit. In one of many opening pictures, we see an enormous, gorgeously lit Christmas tree in entrance of the Capitol Constructing. That is the primary of a thousand nauseating situations of the movie imbibing the competition. And that’s just about all we get to see for the remainder of the story. A Congresswoman, who’s receiving an excessive amount of flak for overfunding navy bases, is politically pressured to close three of them down. Simply earlier than Christmas, she sends her legislative aide Erica (Kat Graham) to report on a seemingly wasteful and sketchy base after seeing them conduct “Christmas Drops” utilizing navy tools.
The bottom Erica visits is just a few seashores in need of Hawaii. The navy personnel on the market are solely prepping for the ‘Operation Christmas Drop’ — the place they donate containers filled with important provides to islanders that don’t have any entry to it. As a substitute of Santa Claus, we’ve a cargo pilot and as a substitute of Rudolph, there’s a navy plane dropping containers into the ocean. This can be a sitcom-like setting the place everybody carries a toothy grin, charitable soul, and an overeager persona — they’re all Leslie Knope on steroids. This dizzying array of positivity — filled with smiles, sunshine, and diabetes-inducing sweetness — nevertheless, is weary and tiring. It’s painfully bland and provides no character to a location that’s unique sufficient to go on a postcard.
Erica is assisted by Andrew (Alexander Ludwig, Vikings), a commander who chauffeurs her round not simply by the air power base however her life as properly. His altruistic beat is way extra sickening than the island he’s on — he sacrifices spending Christmas together with his household to assist out with their humanitarian trigger; sings carols for youths with out ample sources to review; and shops cartons price of fabric in his quarters for the Christmas Drop. Ludwig, nevertheless, manages to crack the seductively steamy aspect of his character. His chopping rejoinders with Erica convey some wit to the everyday fluff we see all through the movie. His inflated ego, most likely a results of his bronzed physique, balances his superficially written goody-goodiness.
Erica, because the pencil pusher who simply needs her promotion, looks like a aspect character out of a YA novel regardless of being the lead. Graham doesn’t have a lot to work with however manages to drag off the archetypical women-get-it-done-with-no-space-for-romance function earnestly. Initially, she’s the embodiment of a buzzkill, the rain that showers on innocuous parades. However after witnessing the navy’s endless deluge of humanity, she “grows”, as if she had been a characterless stick determine earlier than.
Even after ignoring the shallow morals of this movie, the story by no means lands. There’s a debilitating lack of narrative acts — it’s one straight story about folks doing good issues. Erica is rarely conflicted about her job or political stress, neither does her report, that requires her to cowl the bottom’s inefficiencies, come between her chemistry with Andrew. This movie is actually the equal of an Instagram web page devoted to protecting uplifting information. Its ethical calibration is that of a youngsters’s fable. Had the Netflix Authentic dabbled into one thing even remotely extra advanced, the jaunty storyline wouldn’t be half as soporific and uninteresting.