There’s a common occurrence in my life this time of year. Inevitably, the subject of Christmas movies comes up, and inevitably, I share my favorite.
“Oh, that’s easy,” I say. “Die Hard is my favorite Christmas movie!” …Now herein lies the problem. About half the time, I get the same response. “Die Hard isn’t a Christmas movie!”
I always start my argument by stating that the movie is set during Christmas. Now, I understand that a stereotypical Christmas movie needs to revolve around Christmas. That’s fair. But I think Die Hard is about Christmas in its own twisted way. For one, the whole movie has Christmas-time as one of its central themes, both in visuals and plot. The stereotypical symbols of Christmas are also present: Family, kindness, goodwill, and the brotherhood of men.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Die Hard, here’s a rundown. John McClane goes back to L.A. on Christmas Eve to reconcile things with his wife (theme of family), at her company’s Christmas party. He arrives by limo, and when a terrorist plot breaks loose, McClane sets out to save the day. Action and adventure ensue, all the while McClane makes Christmas quips and references (including one of my favorite moments, when the main antagonist finds a body left by McClane with the phrase, “Now I have a machine gun, HO HO HO” written on his chest).
Throughout the movie, McClane is working together with a policeman on the ground named Powell whom he befriends (brotherhood of men). At the climax, the terrorist’s getaway car is stopped by the limo driver from before (more brotherhood of men)! The bad guy is killed and McClane and his wife leave the building, saved from a surprise attack by McClane’s friend Powell. The Limo driver returns, and the now reconciled McClanes leave with him.
All in all, I’d say that’s a whole lot of feel-good, family, and goodwill-driven Christmas movie vibes, right? If the action-packed movie doesn’t just scream Noel, then I don’t know what does.