Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Netflix Picks: Operation Christmas Drop

It’s December! Can you believe it? Time might feel like it is going too slow because of the pandemic but it has also breezed past us — 2020 will soon be over! With Christmas just weeks away, I have taken to watching movies and TV shows with the holiday theme. Books with the Christmas setting have been on my list as well. First, up for me was the Netflix movie Operation Christmas Drop.

The movie stars Vampire Diaries alum Kat Graham and Vikings star Alexander Ludwig and is inspired by the real-life humanitarian mission of the same name that the US Air Force has been operating since 1952. For the movie, Ludwig’s character Captain Andrew Jantz is the man who has made it his pet project, and Graham is the congressional aide named Erica who is sent to inspect the activity as part of a study which will select which air force bases would need to be shut down. All this is happening right before Christmas, just when preparations for the drop is in full swing.

The two lead characters clash at first, with Andrew trying to keep Erica away from the project because he is worried about how she may report negatively to her superior, Congresswoman Bradford (played by Virginia Madsen). Eventually, however, as he shows her around and she learns about the situation and the people that benefit from the project, Erica has a change of heart not only about the Christmas Drop but about Andrew as well.

I did not think that the pairing of Alexander Ludwig and Kat Graham would work — he seems like such a huge guy and she is this tiny woman, but they both managed to have this chemistry that worked. Ludwig comes off as this teddy bear of a guy, someone who is huge and tough but with an equally big heart. As small as she was compared to her partner, Graham projected a strong character — a go-getter who made things happen.

As expected, this movie had a happy-ever-after ending. Congresswoman Bradford, who initially decided to close down the base due to the “expenses” of the Christmas Drop, saw for herself how it was operated and had a change of heart. Erica and Andrew then got to spend Christmas together, the potential of their new romance shown with a kiss being the last scene in the movie.

This movie is not your typical Christmas romance film. For one thing, it had a location that did not have snow as it was in Guam. Most (if not all) of the holiday movies I’ve seen have been in snowy settings, so this was a refreshing one to see. I also loved learning about the Christmas Drop project. After learning that it was a real thing during the end credits, I looked it up and was amazed by how long it has been going on and what it contributes to the community. As in the film, it is classified as a training project to help the air force train for similar drops over areas such as Iraq or Afghanistan. The movie says that they work with other countries on this and I was surprised to discover when I searched for more information online that our very own Philippine Air Force participated in this in December 2017 ( which was not mentioned in the movie, by the way).

If you want to watch a feel-good Christmas movie, Operation Christmas Drop may be a good thing to see.  With this year when we have all gone through so much (with some going through much worse than others), the movie's drive to be charitable during the holidays may rub off on you when you see this!


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