I Watched Die Hard For The First Time To Determine Whether It’s A Christmas Movie
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It’s the age old question – is Die Hard a Christmas movie?
Every year we hear the same arguments, and every year I keep my mouth firmly shut.
Because I have a secret… I’ve never seen Die Hard.
Or rather, I had never seen Die Hard. You see, this year, bored of the constant bickering on my timeline and in my work group chats over John McClane and Hans Gruber, I decided to do something about it.
So, to put an end to the madness, I watched Die Hard for the very first time, for the sole purpose of determining whether or not it is actually a Christmas movie.
As far as I’m concerned, Christmas movies need three things: a killer Christmas soundtrack, classic quotes, and the all-important Christmas spirit.
Even before pressing play, I could tell you that Die Hard ticks at least one of these boxes. You don’t need to have been formally introduced to John McClane to be familiar with him – ‘Welcome to the party pal,’ and ‘Yippie-ki-yay motherf*cker’ are hall-of-fame movie quotes regardless of whether they’re festive or not.
But upon actually watching the film, I discovered there’s actually a whole treasure trove of Christmas-related quotables tossed out by McClane during his endeavours. ‘Now I have a machine gun, ho ho ho,’ might rival ‘Merry Christmas you filthy animal’ for the most festive non-festive line in the history of Christmas films, and it comes with an all-timer delivery from Alan Rickman as a bonus.
As for the Christmas soundtrack? Suitably killer. It’s got classic tunes like Ode to Joy and Winter Wonderland, brilliantly juxtaposed to provide the backing track to utter carnage, and sergeant Al Powell breaks out his rendition of Let It Snow not once, but twice during the film.
Oh, and there’s also one of the greatest festive hip-hop tracks ever released in there too for good measure in the form of Run DMC’s Christmas In Hollis. So yeah, I’m thinking that’s pretty Christmassy.
But what about actual Christmas spirit? Sure, Die Hard might not fill its quota of santa hats, snowmen and twinkly lights to the same extent that typical Christmas fare like Elf and How The Grinch Stole Christmas do, but compared to some ‘Christmas’ classics, it’s downright festive.
Is Die Hard more Christmassy than Love, Actually – a film about awful men using the season of goodwill to be even more awful? You bet it is. And if It’s A Wonderful Life – a film about a man considering suicide amid the backdrop of the great depression – can be considered a Christmas classic (and it just so happens to be my favourite Christmas movie), surely Die Hard – a film about a man doing everything he can to save his wife from the world’s worst office Christmas party – can be considered one too.
And perhaps most importantly when it comes to Christmas spirit, Die Hard is unbelievably fun. I started watching the film by myself, yet by the time I finished every member of my family had come in to join me, and if that isn’t testament to the film’s appeal I don’t know what is.
I managed to go 25 years of my life without watching it, but now I have, I get it. Die Hard is the movie equivalent of that weird tradition that your family does each Christmas that no one else would understand. Sure, it might not seem all that Christmassy on the outside, but whether it’s part of your Christmas movie marathon or not, the holiday season wouldn’t be the same without it.
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Topics: Featured, Bruce Willis, Christmas, Christmas Films, Die Hard, Features, Film