Friday, November 13, 2020

Operation Christmas Drop

Operation Christmas Drop is your typical schmaltzy holiday fare featuring a character rediscovering the meaning of Christmas. In this case, our leading lady is Kat Graham starring as workaholic Congressional aide Erica who is sent halfway around the world on Christmas by a Grinch of Senator (Virginia Madsen) to find reasons to shut down a military base that dares spread goodwill during the holidays. I half expected Madsen to start looking for Dalmatians to skin as the script by Gregg Rossen and Brian Sawyer requires so many one-note characters to force the plot along.

The military operation that gives the film its title, where U.S. Forces drop crates of humanitarian aid across several isolated islands, has been going strong since 1952 providing the backdrop of the base in Guam and the reason for Erica to be in tropical paradise at Christmas. Alexander Ludwig plays the goodhearted pilot who lives for Christmas and helps the base make the most of the occasion. He's even able to help rekindle a bit of Christmas spirit within Erica despite the entire reason for her arrival being to deliver a report justifying the base's closure.

Operation Christmas Drop is exactly what you would expect as it follows the typical holiday formula complete with miracle and more than one character's heart growing three sizes. Graham is charming as the lead, and the best thing the film has going for it. Ludwig's character is large and goofy, but his heart is in the right place which even Erica begins to see given enough time. Operation Christmas Drop is hardly a holiday classic, but it does have a bit more holiday charm than I expected despite its predictable structure and the limitations of its genre. While I can't quite bring myself to recommend it, there are certainly worse ways to spend a couple of hours.

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