MoviesPositive (Worth Seeing)

Operation Christmas Drop – Review/Summary (with Spoilers)

Like most holiday movies, “Operation Christmas Drop” isn’t going to be the best thing out there. However, it’s simple, based on a true military exercise, and family-friendly.


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Director(s)Martin Wood
Screenplay ByGregg Rossen, Brian Sawyer
Date Released (Netflix)11/5/2020
Genre(s)Comedy, Romance, Holiday
Duration1 Hour, 36 Minutes
RatingTV-G
Noted Cast
EricaKat Graham
AndrewAlexander Ludwig
Congresswoman BradfordVirginia Madsen

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Plot Summary

With it being a little more than 8 days till Christmas, Captain Andrew is prepping for the yearly tradition of dropping essential items to the various native islands near the Anderson airforce base in Guam. Which, for Congresswoman Bradford is a problem since she is heading the base realignment and closure initiative. And with the base in her district threatened with closure, she sees the Anderson base as a major spender, so she sends one of her aides, Erica, who wants to become her chief of staff, over to Guam to write a damning report.

The problem is that Erica becomes torn between the base and Captain Andrew’s efforts and her boss, who could set up her political career.

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

  • Reason(s) for Film Rating: There isn’t really any cursing, the most in terms of nudity you get is Ludwig’s shirt being off, and it’s all positive. Even Congresswoman Bradford isn’t a villain, just ignorant about what’s going on.
  • Jump Scares/ Laughs/ Tear-Jerking Moments: 0 in all categories.

Character Guide

Erica (Kat Graham)

Erica (Kat Graham) after arriving in Guam
Erica (Kat Graham)

Since Congresswoman Bradford’s first campaign, Erica has worked for her, and while she is sometimes giving personal assistant tasks, like doing the congresswoman’s shopping, she is respected. Mainly due to Erica being a team player and also a hard worker. Which is why she is sent to Guam to assess a base to see if it can be closed as opposed to one in Congresswoman Bradford’s district.

Now, what should complicate things is this request is around Christmas, but with Erica’s mother passing in the last few years and her dad remarrying, never mind no personal life, this isn’t a problem. Never mind, with rumor having it that Congresswoman Bradford may need a new chief of staff soon, this base assessment could be what Erica needs to seal the deal.

Congresswoman Bradford (Virginia Madsen)

Like many who enter politics, the original idea for Congresswoman Bradford was to do good. However, the longer she was in the machine, the more her focus shifted to making constituents happy so she can stay elected. Making any and all lofty dreams bogged down by what it takes to stay in a political office. Hence, with heading a base realignment and closure project, her wanting to have Base Anderson shut down as a base in her district is on the shortlist for closure as well.

Andrew (Alexander Ludwig)

Captain Andrew, of the air force, also known as CLAWS, is a nice guy. He has one sister, one niece, perfectly average parents, and he doesn’t really get to see them due to his commitment to Operation Christmas Drop, which takes all year to plan. So with hearing the base could close and being assigned to show Erica around, he tries to show off all she could destroy and illuminate her to how things are ran, rather than let her solely look at hard data.

Andrew (Alexander Ludwig) at the party he helped organizr
Andrew (Alexander Ludwig)

Review

Highlights

It Features A Rather Interesting, Pro-Military Story [82]

Operation Christmas Drop, as noted in the credits, is a real thing. It’s one of the longest humanitarian airdrop missions, and it doesn’t make for a bad story. Specifically, what happens on bases that aren’t engaged in war. Which, even for shows like “We Are Who We Are,” while you see them train for the possibility of deployment, as for what everyone else does? There isn’t much shown beyond minor interactions with the locals.

Yet, in “Operation Christmas Drop,” we’re reminded how much the U.S. military is used to represent the best of the United States. Especially when not in combat, for then soldiers can be seen as a welcome sight as they bring goods, medicine, aid, and personalities that make the U.S. a place to immigrate.

A Brief Look Into The Complications of Politics [83]

Congresswoman Bradford (Virginia Madsen) showing up for an inspection
Congresswoman Bradford (Virginia Madsen)

You have to appreciate the conflict Congresswoman Bradford is under – she is a woman who got elected on community values, people helping people, and things like that. Yet, she also has to advocate for her district. In that being presented, you get a nice push and pull that helps you understand the complexities of someone who represents a small district having command over hundreds of millions of lives potentially.

Take note of Congresswoman Bradford wanting to shutdown Anderson Base, that would mean the local economy would tank as the soldiers would be gone and who knows what would happen to the local population? If there isn’t military aid or spending, jobs are gone, and businesses would shutter. Never mind, while Japanese and Australian allies assisted with the local population, who knows whether the U.S. provided the majority of the aid?

And with that in mind, it really pushes you to understand how hard the job of a government official can be if you aren’t squarely worried just about your district but the power you wield over that of others.

On The Fence

The Romance [75]

Erica and Andrew getting together comes off more like an obligation than something built up to in a way that should and could make you swoon. Especially since the two don’t really have chemistry and taking note people make it clear the Christmas drop is Andrew’s life, hence why he is single. Add in he barely leaves the base either, how is that supposed to work when Erica’s career is in Washington D.C. and her family in Boston?

Overall

RatingPositive (Worth Seeing)

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Ending Explained

Andrew and Erica kissing

After waiting for days to get the report she needs, Congresswoman Bradford, on her way to vacationing with her family, shows up at Base Anderson ready to send Erica back to D.C., get the information she needs, and shut the base down. However, after a tropical storm which threatened to postpone Operation Christmas Drop passes, she gets to see the work that is being done and changes her tune.

Mind you, this doesn’t mean she suddenly is going to sacrifice the military base in her own district. However, it seems Base Anderson at least will be safe. Oh, and thanks to Erica wheeling and dealing, she was able to get generators for locals. Not to forget, after a few days together, while I wouldn’t say Erica and Andrew are in love, they do kiss and seem like they are on their way to starting a relationship.

Does Operation Christmas Drop Have Sequel Potential?

Of course. The focus could be about the year it takes to gather, sort, and ready supplies. Alongside that, Andrew learning to balance his personal, professional, and charitable life to make room for Erica. Someone who likely gets the promotion she wants, which surely will complicate her having a relationship with a man who barely leaves the pacific. Never mind, the movie has to focus on the holidays, and that means properly introducing both Erica and Andrew’s families.

Summary

It Features A Rather Interesting, Pro-Military Story - 82%
A Brief Look Into The Complications of Politics - 83%
The Romance - 75%

80%

What the film sells you, which is a holiday romance, isn't the selling point. More so, it is presenting the military in a way that doesn't seem like propaganda but a reminder of the good, non-combat things they do. Add in a brief but complicated look into what goes into being a congressperson, it really is the little things that tip the scale here.

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Amari

I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and have aimed to be that friend who loves watching various forms of media and talking about it. So, from bias, strong opinions, and a perspective you may not have thought about, you'll find that in our reviews.

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