Once upon a time, I don’t know how old I was, it was Christmas Eve and my family was sitting at home after church. Chances are us kids were desperately begging to open just one present (for all her permissive tendencies, my mom was really strict about the no-presents-before-Christmas-morning rule), and to distract us mom suggested we watch a movie. What movie, we asked. Why, a Christmas movie, of course. I think we had a few Christmas-y things to choose from. In the end, we watched Die Hard. Mom’s argument being that a) it has the song Let It Snow in it, and b) it takes place on Christmas Eve. Now, we don’t watch Die Hard every Christmas, sometimes we watch Gone with the Wind, or White Christmas. But it is, by our standards, a Christmas movie. This fact is usually looked upon oddly by some people who don’t regard it as such. All I have to say to them is: stop this unending war on Christmas!
This year we’ve been vindicated in our thinking by four separate sources that also consider Die Hard not just a Christmas movie, but a Christmas action classic! My sources are:
1. The Coast (independent
paper) included Die
Hard as part of an alt-Christmas movie watching list. Halifax
2. The AV Club (my favourite pop culture website) also listed Die Hard among other seasonal movies.
3. The HMV downtown was selling Die Hard with the more “traditional” Christmas movies (no picture, but Alej will serve as a pers. comm. on this one).
4. Rotten Tomatoes ranks it the 4th best Christmas movie of all time (based on favourable reviews)(!).
So there. John McClain is the reason for the season, folks! (It’s a good thing I don’t actually have a wide readership. I’d probably get a lot of angry emails).
In honour of the season, I watched the Die Hard quadrilogy (soon to be a quintology) over the weekend. The first two Die Hards are Christmas movies, but the first is just so much better than the second. The second is so clichéd, it seems like it’s the action movie that started all those tropes about the loose cannon cop (phrase “loose cannon” actually used in the movie) who tries to save lives despite the ignorant higher-ups getting in his way all the time. (Actually, the proper trope term is Cowboy Cop, and Die Hard only solidified the cliché, it didn’t start it).
Fun fact, Die Hard is based on a book. One of the few books I couldn’t find on ABE Books. That must mean its so good that no one in the world wants to sell their copy of it! I found it used on Amazon, but it must be a collector’s item because they were asking $25-60 for it. If you ever come across Nothing Last Forever by Roderick Thorp, pick it up for me.