’Operation Christmas Drop’ falls short in key areas

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Photo Courtesy of The Pioneer Woman

Operation Christmas Drop should have dropped the romance, and focused on the spirit of giving.

Bridget Janis, Staff Reporter

It’s November, and that means the Christmas movies are starting to come out.

Netflix released “Operation Christmas Drop” on Nov. 5, now is that too early? For me it kind of is, but a lot of people have been in the Christmas spirit since the second November hit.

Since Operation Christmas Drop is a real thing that provides supplies to the islanders of Micronesia and one of the longest running humanitarian airdrop missions, it makes the movie a little less unbearable.

It was a nice thought to have, thinking about how this is a real thing that happens, how it spreads all that Christmas joy and gets everyone into the spirit of giving.

In the movie, Erica Miller (Kat Graham) works as a political aide for a congresswoman (Virginia Madsen) and she was sent to see if a U.S. Air Force base in Guam is working efficiently. 

The base had just released an article on their Operation Christmas Drop plan for the upcoming holiday. This raised suspicion in the congresswoman of whether the holiday tradition is actually beneficial for the base to be doing.

Upon arrival at the base, Erika meets one of the pilots, Andrew Jantz (Alexander Ludwig), who was actually the face of the article posing with a cheesy smile and Christmas hat. 

Andrew is determined to prove to Erika that Operation Christmas Drop is a great thing. He explains to her that the whole thing is done by donations and fundraisers which take place on the island. The congresswoman’s main concern is that this tradition is taking up government funding, time and resources.

Throughout Erika’s stay there, she learns about the process and who is benefiting. She learns how it’s providing more than just gifts — it provides medicine, resources, clothes, canned food and fishing supplies to the small islands that need it the most.

Erika experiences the heartwarming act of giving as she helps build up the drop and see the process first hand. She tries to explain to the congresswoman how there is no government funds being used, that all of this drop is helping so many people and is a great act of service.

And of course, there’s a little romance between Erika and Andrew, but a romance that didn’t show any connection or chemistry.

Everyone knows Hallmark movies and Netflix originals tend to share a lot of cheesy aspects, but hey, I think Hallmark had just a little bit better writing than this.

But if I look past the terribly done CGI gecko and awful singing, I do think the movie was an interesting take on real events.

The film ended up having a good message about family and giving. While the main character struggled with her family she ends up deciding at the end that she should be giving her step mom a chance.

There also is a lot of character development for Erika, from when she arrives to practically shutting down the U.S Air Force base so she can empty her bag to give whatever she had to others. It’s just that kind of spirit we need to get back into.

The whole movie could have done without the stale romance and focused more on the giving aspects, since that seems to be what was working best. 

Rating: 3/5 stars, but only because it was based on a real thing