12.16.2014 | Harrison Glaser
Sure, you can go traditional with your holiday movies. Who doesn’t love Miracle on 34th Street or It’s a Wonderful Life? But for my money, the best Christmas movie of all time is the 1988 masterpiece Die Hard. It has all the makings of a classic yuletide tale: love, Christmas trees, terrorists, friendship, cute kids, f-words, and an important lesson about family. And if you want memorable lines, this movie has more witty catchphrases than you can shake a missile launcher at. I’ll see your “bah, humbug” and raise you a “Now I have a machine gun. Ho-ho-ho” any day.
“Now wait a second, Harrison” you might say, “Christmastime isn’t about dying at all, whether it be hard or not.” First off please don’t interrupt me. I’m in the middle of a blog. Second, you’re looking at this all wrong. Die Hard is more than an awesome action movie that happens to take place on the night of December 25th. It is in fact a movie imbued with the spirit of Christmas. Yes, there’s death in the movie. People are shot, choked, thrown off buildings, and done blowed up, but take a look at the forest through the death trees. Die Hard is about the perils of greed and the healing power of friendship and family. Hans Gruber and his gang shoot people simply for a big payday. And—spoiler alert—it didn’t turn out too well for any of them. The news reporter jeopardizes the lives of the hostages just for a big scoop. And he got punched in the face. The FBI agents ignored all common sense and were satisfied with killing hostages just for their next big get. And they didn’t last too long. The greed can even be found in John McClane’s own wife, Holly. She quite literally trades in family for greed—reclaiming her maiden name so she can work at a giant, extravagant multi-national corporation that’s shady at best. It’s not until the end of the movie that she sees the error of her ways and reassumes the McClane moniker. See? Underneath all that violence is an important lesson about love and priorities in life. Die Hard is straight up A Christmas Carol, except with more C4.
Plus, I’m working on this theory that John McClane is actually Santa Clause. Stay with me. Just like Santa, John wears red. Though in John’s case, the red is mostly blood. And did you notice that John doesn’t wear socks for the movie? Well maybe that’s because he’s using them for stockings. And just like Santa, McClane is always squeezing through chutes and crevices to make his way down to those that are waiting for him. But instead of delivering toys, McClane brings the greatest gift of all: not dying. And then instead of reindeer, McClain has…I don’t know, bullets? Look the theory’s still a work-in-progress. Just watch the movie. It’s awesome.
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