El Camino Christmas (2017)

DailyView: Day 241, Movie 333

I meant to watch this first thing this morning for the DailyView, but I woke up to the internet connection being out. Not sure how long the internet would be out, I watched one of the Studio Ghibli films off DVD. However, it was not too long after I finished watching that movie that the internet returned. So I wrote the review for The Tale of the Princess Kaguya and then I went to Netflix for El Camino Christmas.

I had seen the Rotten Tomatoes score for the film and it was at 40%. My expectations were low.

I really enjoyed this movie. I found it funny, filled with some awesome characters with a fantastic cast.

Eric Norris (Luke Grimes) arrived in El Camino, Nevada hoping to find the father who deserted him as a baby. Unfortunately, his trip led him to a drunken former vet Larry Roth (Tim Allen). Meanwhile, crooked local law officer Carl Hooker (Vincent D’Onofrio) and his idiot partner Deputy Billy Calhoun (Dax Shepard) arrest Eric on suspicion of meth dealing, and Carl beats Eric up trying to get a confession.

To avoid the potential police brutality charge that was coming, Billy let Eric loose. Eric was seen by Carl and they engaged in a car chase. This ended up with Eric inside a Liquor store with Carl, shot in the leg by Larry, the owner of the store Vicente (Emilio Rivera), liquor store worker Kate Daniels (Michelle Mylett) and her five-year old son Seth (Ashton Essex Bright), turning into a hostage situation.

Sheriff Bob Fuller (Yearwood Smith) is out front with Billy, keep control of the crazed situation that was only being escalated by the local police intervention.

I really enjoyed this movie as it went from straight comedy to a thriller with some tense moments. It even takes some time to take the potentially one note Carl and give him some character motivation that makes sense and creates an understanding of why Carl is the way he is. Vincent D’Onofrio is great as always and brings a level to Carl that a less talented actor may not have been able to do.

Tim Allen is better here than I have seen him in a long time and he plays a character unlike any other Tim Allen character I have seen before.

This was dark and funny, with engaging characters in a terrible situation. It was not what I expected, but I like this a lot.

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