This is officially the most sadistic Christmas movie I've ever seen. ...So far. I mean, I haven't seen Black Christmas yet. So maybe that'll change once I see those movies.
My dad likes to ask me sometimes regarding action movies: "Is there a purpose to all this?" There IS no purpose. The whole movie is one big, fat excuse to slam a bunch of crazy action scenes at you. As an exercise in brutal violence, it succeeds. It's got style, and it's even got some genuinely funny moments of black humour to go along with it. The movie's premise is absolutely ridiculous and stupid, and laughably insane, but it plows through it with an almost completely straight face. In that respect, the movie is a deadpan masterpiece.
Anyway. Salma Hayek's acting, along with Joe Lynch's neat direction, are both too good for this type of movie. This is a modern-day exploitation film at its most blatant. This is Die Hard with Salma Hayek and the Yakuza. It's limited to one floor of an apartment building as a setting, and it's set during Christmas, and the main character is trapped in one room. Only unlike Die Hard, this movie has some truly cruel material to make you squirm in it. I mean wow.
Despite its flaws (and it has a lot of them) it was an entertaining movie. It's shallow, it's not all too smart, and for people with weak stomachs, it's pretty much unwatchable. Its low-budgetness isn't all that obvious unless you REALLY look for it, and most of its effects are refreshingly practical. It's nice to see blood squibs in action movies this day and age, instead of the regular old CGI clouds we're stuck with eighty (or ninety?) percent of the time. Salma Hayek hasn't been this good since Desperado, and that was freaking 1995.
I recommend any action fans to seek it out--unless, of course, you like some brains to go with your bullets, and/or you're not too keen on seeing the effects of swallowing battery acid. The rest of you should have a good time. Good times all around.