Monday, December 20, 2021

'Tis the Season - Christmas Crossfire (2020)


Streaming Service: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: Christmas Crossfire (2020)
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Thriller
Length:  105 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
Production/Distribution: DCM Productions, Boje Buck Produktion, DCM Film Distribution, Netflix
Director: Detlev Buck
Writers: Martin Behnke, Detlev Buck
Actors: Alli Neumann, Anika Mauer, Bernd Hölscher, Dela Dabulamanzi, Detlev Buck, Frederic Linkemann, Jakob Schmidt, Karsten Mielke, Kostja Ullmann, Malte Thomsen, Merlin Rose, Peter Kurth, Roman Schomburg, Sascha Alexander Gersak, Steffen Scheumann, Sophia Thomalla
IMDb Blurb: A man foils an attempted murder, then flees the crew of would-be killers along with their intended target as a woman he's just met tries to find him.

Cat’s Point of View:
Most of us have run across the social media game that asks you to describe a movie badly in a sentence or two. Sometimes I feel like the person in charge of writing movie blurbs for Netflix is really trying to play that game with subscribers. While accurate, the description given for Christmas Crossfire was horrible. Unfortunately, IMDb and other sites ran with the Netflix version so I can’t offer much better.
One interesting thing to note about this German film is that its original title of Wir Können Nicht Anders roughly translates to “We Can’t Help It.” I think I like the English title better to describe the movie, but the original fits the story…generally.

When you get down to brass tacks, Christmas Crossfire was fairly decent. I had a few laughs with the wry humor, there was decent suspense in the thrill department, and I didn’t see the ending coming. There were a couple triggery bits here and there, however. Overall, I was believing what the production was selling. The chemistry between the protagonist couple was believable, and the story – while a little out there – was plausible. It was fairly easy to suspend my disbelief – especially while in a foreign language and subtitle situation. (Like the linked trailer shows, it does have an English dub, but the disconnect between words and mouth movements was bothering me so I watched it in German.)
As the title suggests, Christmas Crossfire is, in fact, a Christmas movie. The setting is squarely on the holiday, with lights and decorations to boot. The premise that gets this poor couple into their predicament is that the newly minted pairing decides to go to the girl’s home village for festivities. I can assure you, however, that Christmas Crossfire is nothing like what you’d find on Hallmark this year.  The ending, in fact, goes from shocking straight to strange.

I have a small confession to make. I watched most of this movie last year when it was released in 2020. I was intrigued by the trailer during our Top 20 research for last December, and in boredom played it one night. I was interrupted ¾ of the way through, though, so I hadn’t seen the ending before. I’m not sorry for watching a second time. I’m rather glad to get some closure for the escapades on screen.
If you’re looking for more standard Christmas movie fare, Christmas Crossfire might not be for you. However, if you like crime thrillers, this offbeat comedy might be a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of the season – especially as we get into the week of the big day itself. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 21%
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 4.8/10
Trust the Dice: Parental Guidance Rating – R
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3/5
Movie Trailer:

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