Thursday, November 5, 2020

Operation Christmas Drop: Movie Review




No romance but a feel-good finale.
Netflix’s newest addition to the Christmas romance genre starts out very shaky but eventually lands on its feet. Viewers who can get past the unfunny, unromantic, very typical opening with unlikable characters, will eventually be rewarded with a feel-good, inspirational flick. The set-up is awful, but the pay-off is solid especially for movies of this ilk.   2020

Directed by: Martin Wood

Screenplay by: Gregg Rossen, Brian Sawyer

Starring: Kat Graham, Alexander Ludwig

Erica (Kat Graham) is an over-worked stressed-out congressional aide who always chooses work over family, even at Christmas. This time, her boss has asked her to fly to Guam (a 36-hour flight) because she suspects the military base at Guam is operating inefficiently and should therefore be shut down. Sure, let’s fire people at Christmas, because this obviously needs to be done now and not at say any other time of the year.

At the beginning, Erica embodies all the worst traits that romantic heroines can possess. She has no sense of humour, no sense of fun, no sense of humanity, and believes that her job is the only thing that matters in life. She’s cold, unsympathetic, and just very unlikable. It’s a Christmas miracle that actress Kat Graham found a way to turn her into an endearing human being that you actually want to root for by the end.

Kat Graham as Erica in Operation Christmas Drop. Cr Ricardo Hubbs, Netflix © 2020

Her counterpart is Andrew (Alexander Ludwig) an Air Force Captain who is supposed to be the opposite of Erica, however he also comes across as unlikable with no sense of humour. The pro-military message here is poorly done because Andrew is just talked up too much with very little to back it up. We’re told he’s the most good-looking, most charming, most charismatic, nicest, most genuine, most selfless person in the entire world. That nonsense needed to be toned down a lot, because that’s not a real human being.

The next warning is the complete lack of romance. Obviously, Erica and Andrew hate each other at the beginning because that’s just how these movies always begin, and while they like each other and get along at the end, there’s still no romance. However, if you’re not looking for romance and instead just want a “nice” movie, Operation Christmas Drop starts to deliver.

The movie is centered around a real humanitarian effort that American bases all around the world actually engage in. This is real, and feel-good movies are always way more heartwarming when based in reality. The other aspect that I really enjoyed is Erica loosening up. Graham illuminated the screen when she let her hair down and her evolution toward a normal human being who found other things to enjoy in life beyond her job is inspiring.

You Might Also Like:

 Last Christmas (2019) - Sweetness and charm carrying a movie about nothing.
 Holidate (2020) - A romantic comedy missing that crucial element of humour.