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Christmas Rush

This made-for-TV action picture, which first aired on TBS, is a relief from the usual candy-cane entertainment associated with holiday viewing. Police Detective Cornelius Morgan (Dean Cain) and his partner, Rich (Roman Podhora), have a reputation for excessive fervor when it comes to apprehending criminals like Jimmy Scalzetti (Eric Roberts). Just as Morgan's zealousness nets him a suspension, Scalzetti comes out of retirement in order to finance an experimental treatment for his terminally ill son. Scalzetti knows that every Christmas Eve, a CSC armored car drives into basement of Chicago’s North Mall to collect between $10. and $12. million in cash. Scalzetti and his gang come up with a high-tech scheme to distract the police with a decoy explosion, attack the guards before they carry off the dough and then escape through the underground tunnels beneath the mall while the police think they're still loading up the armored truck. Naturally, the foolproof scheme runs into a snag. Morgan has a tiff with his wife, Cat (Erika Eleniak), and then heads for the Mall jewelry store where she works to apologize. The thieves grab Cat along with other stragglers who didn’t leave the Mall at closing time, so Morgan, who's unable to reach Rich on his cellphone, springs into action alone. Morgan quickly manages to get hold of the cart containing the millions and begins picking off Scalzettis's underlings one by one. But he makes the mistake of revealing his identity, handing Scalzetti a trump card: Cat. Morgan improvises a makeshift offense, but he's up against a desperate opponent with demolition supplies and a desperate motive to succeed. Yes, writer-director Charles Robert Carner's film is essentially DIE HARD in a mall, but the backstory about Scalzetti's sick child gives his character some depth and the tricky robbery's exciting aftermath is genuinely engaging.