While third graders debate if there is or isn’t a Santa (there is, and we hope he’s bringing us Havana Club 7 Year), adults have the equally mature debate over Die Hard: Is it a Christmas Movie?
Bruce Willis says no. But we poured ourselves a shot of 7 Year, raise our glass, and shout a resounding Yes!
Not every movie set on or around Christmas is a Christmas movie. Certainly there is more to making a holiday movie than setting it sometime between Thanksgiving and New Year.
But Holly McClane’s office is having a Christmas party. The holiday is also the reason the rest of Nakatomi Plaza is essentially empty.
The holiday is an essential plot point to the film.
More Than A Feeling
Not every Christmas movie has to give you ‘The Feels.’ The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future don’t need to haunt you into doing the right thing. Judy Garland doesn’t need to bring us to tears by singing Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. Clark Griswold doesn’t need to finally get his 25,000 Italian sparkling twinkle lights to finally suck up all the power in the neighborhood.
Sometimes we can have terrorists take hostages. Occasionally you can have a CEO shot point blank and a coked out executive douche get executed. Maybe there can even be a semi-unlikeable hero cutting his feet to shreds walking over broken glass.
Die Hard takes the phrase “Surviving Christmas” from a metaphor to a literal meaning. John McClane is a bigger hero than Santa brining Ralphie a Red Ryder BB Gun.
Die Hard gives us permission to change the classic line to “Every time a bell rings, a terrorist gets his Bearer Bonds.”
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
Eggnog spiked with brandy. It’s perfect drink often served at company holiday parties, just like the one thrown at the top of Nakatomi Plaza. Feel free not to garnish with a side of terrorists.