Operation Christmas Drop

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Alexander Ludwig and Kat Graham in Operation Christmas Drop.
Alexander Ludwig and Kat Graham in Operation Christmas Drop.
Photo: Ricardo Hubbs/Netflix


3/5 Stars


In a tropical paradise on Christmas, she's about to find romance, kindness - and her long-lost holiday spirit.


'Tis the season for Netflix Christmas movies.

Full disclosure: If there's a cheesy original Christmas movie to watch on the streaming service, I have either watched it, or it's on my list. I have watched all three A Christmas Prince movies, every Vanessa Hudgens Christmas movie (yes, The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again is already on my list), The Holiday Calendar, Holiday in the Wild. But let me stop there before I expose myself any further.

There's just something about a Christmas movie that gives one all the feels, and with the year that we've had, we could all do with some Christmas cheer and goodwill to all men.

Operation Christmas Drop follows the formula involving a grinch-like character. In this case, that character is Erica (Kat Graham), a congressional aide who has to gather evidence against a US Air Force base to shut it down. Spearheaded by Captain Andrew (Alexander Ludwig), the base has a special project called the Christmas Drop which delivers supplies to the citizens of Guam, in the Pacific Ocean.

While the film is predictable in parts, several things make it different from the usual seasonal fair. First is the setting (no distracting fake snow here). The tropical paradise location was a welcome change. It reminded me so much of our South African summer Christmases.

Secondly, I liked that even the music in the film wasn't traditional Christmas songs. Instead of White Christmas in the background, Colbie Caillat's Christmas in the Sand played. The diversity which usually feels forced in these types of films, felt organic and natural.

And lastly, the filmed is loosely based on the US Air Force Christmas Drop humanitarian mission. The tradition started in 1952 and is the longest-running humanitarian airlift in the world. One of the real-life volunteers also features in the film. Bruce Best, who plays Brother Bruce, has been involved in the drop for almost 40 years. Seeing this at the end of the movie warmed my heart because in a year that has been fraught with so much turbulence, it gives one a warm feeling to know that this year, the drop will most likely happen and bring some much-needed aid for the local communities of Guam.

When it comes to the acting, I enjoyed Kat Graham (Vampire Diaries) as Erica. I liked that her character didn't need much convincing that the project was worthwhile. I also liked that when it mattered in the end, she did the right thing.

Alexander Ludwig (Vikings) as Andrew was the perfect Father Christmas stand-in. The chemistry between the pair was also nice to watch. Another thing I liked about this movie is that they didn't make the romance that blossomed between the two the focal point.

Operation Christmas Drop won't win any awards, and it probably won't get a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but I can guarantee you that it will 100% lift your spirits and maybe even inspire you to do something special for your fellow man. This year is one in which we can all do with a Christmas miracle.



We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24