25 Days of Christmas - The Naughty List: Reindeer Games
Before Ben Affleck became a beloved director, he just acted in some movies...mostly really bad movies. But just because they were bad, doesn't necessarily mean they weren't fun. Enter Reindeer Games, a crime-action-drama with loads of unintentional comedy set on Christmas Eve.
The ridiculous premise centers on Rudy (Affleck) who has big plans to spend Christmas with his family upon his release after several years in prison for stealing cars. His cellmate Nick (James Frain) has plans to finally hook up with his pen pal Ashley (Charlize Theron) after writing each other for six months, but the day before release Nick is killed in a inmate brawl. The day of release, Rudy decides to pretend to be Nick, believing Ashley to never be the wiser since she's never seen a picture of Nick. But her brother Gabriel (Gary Sinise) has other plans that involve using Fake Nick to rob a casino on Christmas Eve at which the Real Nick once worked security. And as if the surface plot wasn't convoluted enough, the film takes it a step further with multiple twists and turns.
Yes, Reindeer Games is bad and for a Christmas action film, it pales in comparison to the likes of Die Hard, to the point of transparency. Affleck is smarmy enough you want to punch him in his giant head. (Seriously, could his head be any bigger? The multitude of close-ups didn't help.) Theron tries for sweet, sexy and dangerous, but never really pulls off any of those. (When I first saw this, I thought she was a cheap knock off of Ashley Judd. Oh how the times have changed.) And Sinise is just...gross.
But after a few vats of eggnog, or just straight up rum, the juvenile dialogue, hammy acting and ludicrous plot all come together for a naughty fun time.
I still dig it anyway.