There is a point where even I get thoroughly fed up with the same type of Christmas movie. There's always a hard-working single girl who inadvertently falls in love with the nice guy. There's snow, lots of snow. And carol singers. Who are nearly always dressed up like Victorians for some strange reason. And the blossoming romance always ends up with the two leads always falling over in the snow. Always!
And that's why El Camino Christmas is so good. It has none of those things!! Well, except for one short flutter of snow but we can forgive that. In fact, El Camino Christmas is set in the baking heat of a small town where its residents are struggling through every day life.
Eric Roth, played by Luke Grimes, has arrived in El Camino to find his father. On the promise of getting info about his Dad, he ends up in a bar with Larry, played by Tim Allen. Larry doesn't actually know anything so the two go their separate ways. However, Eric gets stopped by the local town police officer Carl Hooker. Carl, played by Vincent D'Onofrio, is a lazy, jaded, borderline alcoholic who decides to fit Eric up. Along with his partner, Deputy Billy Calhoun played by Dax Shepherd, they arrest Eric and lock him up.
The following day when Billy decides they went too far, he lets Eric go. However, as he desperately tries to get the hell out of dodge, Carl catches up with him and they end up at Vincente's liquor store. And that's where the action ramps up. Through a series of mis-communications a shoot out ensues putting everybody in the store at risk.
El Camino Christmas is actually a really good film. It's certainly not the traditional Christmas movie we've all come to expect. And absolutely nothing about it could be considered ‘Hallmark'. The casting is excellent with particular emphasis on how good Tim Allen is. The plot is plausible and the script is really on point. It has a bit of grit to it but thankfully isn't contrived nonsense. If The Christmas Prince doesn't float your boat, try El Camino Christmas instead.