Ewan Gleadow

Movie Review: Operation Christmas Drop

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Copyright: Netflix

A bold move for the powers that be at Netflix to release Operation Christmas Drop in the early days of November. A truly futile attempt. Surely released in the hopes that it would go unnoticed for the actual Christmas period. They try and fail to do so, another festive cash-in where streaming platforms will wring all they can out of the tinsel-clad holiday season. The well of ideas runs horrifically dry, and with no other avenue to exploit for cheap Christmas cheer, we find ourselves aimlessly wandering around an Air Force base, watching two miserable caricatures butt heads over feeble ideas and meandering antics. 

Director Martin Wood finally gets the big break he was clamouring for. Strange that the man behind such classics as Teenage Space Vampires and the Aurora Teagarden Mystery series isn’t fitting the bill for bigger projects. How he’s made it to Netflix whilst genuine talent toils away in gritty, near-poverty stricken conditions, is a question for the ages. Still, he makes do with what he has here, and that’s very little indeed. Horridly low budget, usually these fixtures can offer some form of big name to lure idiots into wasting a couple hours, but Operation Christmas Drop doesn’t have that. Kat Graham is a name that might pop up on a difficult pub quiz movie round, and we can throw Alexander Ludwig onto the pile of Johnny Flynn calibre actors. Not a pile you’d want to be included on. 

Still, this film is going to find itself on many piles, most of them being worst of the year compendiums written by critics with seasonal hangovers and a word count to beat. There’s little to say about Operation Christmas Drop. A film truly in awe of itself, thoroughly proud of how little it does. Connecting a few awful covers of Christmas classics with sunny beaches and a consistent reminder that we’ll never get to celebrate the holidays on a tropical island or military base. Those are mere pipe dreams for the Imagineers of the world, and like Icarus, their ideas will touch too close to the sun, and crash hard into the ground. Good. 

Netflix appear to be running an operation in the hopes of ruining Christmas for everyone. Operation Christmas Drop is, as expected, devoid of any worthwhile content. The horribly generic opening soundtrack, paired with the conglomerate name dropping is as awful as expected. By-the-books in every way imaginable, Operation Christmas Drop looks to parachute us into a dense, poorly performed romance that just so happens to be set during the most wonderful time of the year. You could remove all the Christmas objects and comments from this film and they would make no major changes to the narrative. Then again, you could remove all trace of this film, and nobody would care. Cheesy nonsense drowns out any sense of goodwill and cheer, in its place, shoddy romance and vigorously dense humour.