Die Hard isn’t a Christmas movie but it’s a Christmas movie. Get it? Who doesn’t want to see people get shot and stuff blow up on Christmas? What Christmas movie doesn’t have a family argument, that quite honestly, should have happened way before the holiday but somehow makes its way into dinner conversation? What Christmas movie doesn’t have someone or something that is trying to ruin Christmas? It has all the elements of a traditional Christmas movie…just no Santa Claus.
The first Die Hard is not my favorite but I do love to watch it around Christmas. I don’t feel right watching it any other time of the year. So what makes this movie so great, besides Alan Rickman? Its allure in the fact that it isn’t your warm and fuzzy Christmas movie where the kids go to the mall and sit on Santa’s lap or where the family argues in the beginning but ends the movie opening Christmas presents. There is crime, action, a hostage situation and explosions which is all a hit in my book. Netflix has a series called The Movies that Made Us and Die Hard is featured in one of the episodes. After watching that episode, I have more of an appreciation for the movie and the memories its made.
Both Alan Rickman and Bruce Willis were not anyone’s first pick for the roles they played but somehow, their performances made the movie! Willis playing a defiant New York cop visiting his estranged wife and child in California around Christmas and Rickman as the poetic sounding criminal lead heading a mixed crew of individuals to steal $640 million dollars in bonds.
You know what bothers me in heist movies? The cops. Why are the cops and the FBI that dumb? Officers in situations like these cannot be this slow. I also hate the fact that Argyle was USELESS! How are you in the car for that long with Stevie Wonder on repeat and you don’t hear or notice ANYTHING? How sway? And I guess since they added this character and gave him nothing to do throughout the whole movie except provide the line of questioning that provided the backstory for McClain and his estranged wife, the writers figured they would make him feel like a hero by letting him crash into the van in the basement.
Reginald VelJohnson played almost the same version of his character in Family Matters. I feel like we could swap the characters and it be the same outcome.
Does anyone else notice that some of the movies around this time had Black people in essential positions? For example, in this film, the man responsible for breaking into the vault and hacking into the system was a Black guy wearing glasses. The actor’s name is Clarence Gilyard Jr and for those who used to spend hours at their grandmother’s house watching Walker, Texas Ranger, you know him as James Trivette. I always stared at him because I knew I knew him from somewhere, and in recent years, I finally figured out where I had seen his face. As a side note, and in addition to, Samuel Jackson, who was in Die Hard 3, my personal favorite for obvious reasons, was the computer guy in Jurassic Park. He also wore glasses in that role.
John McClain is the perfect non-conventional hero. He wants to save the day but he doesn’t want you to tell him how to do it, and when it’s all said and done, he doesn’t want to hear you complain about how he went about saving the lives of a dozen people or more. He bucks the system, and every once in a while, that’s what we dream we could do without consequence like McClain.
In closing, is it always in the formula to have the good guys look and be half dead by the end of the movie while the bad guys can walk, talk and run with no problem? Can we at least have the main bad guy lose his arm or something?
Any who, all those out there who indulge in Christmas movie mania, is Die Hard a Christmas movie? Is it on your list of “must watches?” Did I forget anything? What’s your favorite scene? Mine is when McClain and Hans unknowingly meet. That fake accent done by Rickman was hilarious to me and I feel like people always want to do some sort of southern accent, like it’s so easy to do.