It's not hard to break down all the ways Die Hard is one of the most epic action films of all time. Alan Rickman's villainous Hans Gruber alone is worth a re-watch. Then there's Bruce Willis's John McClane, barefoot and beat up and the complete portrait of a total badass.
What's been missed until recent years, however, is the fact that Die Hard is a holiday film. According to Task & Purpose, it may in fact be the best Christmas movie ever made.
T&P's James Clark makes some pretty good points to support his argument:
For the naysayers who argue that two-hours of violent shootouts with terrorists isn’t a solid basis for a Christmas movie, well, they’re not actually terrorists. They’re thieves who planned a massive heist of hundreds of millions of dollars in bearer bonds during a holiday season meant to celebrate charitable giving. It’s like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” but with guns; and in this case, Santa’s little helper drops the Grinch from the top of Nakatomi plaza, which in real life is the headquarters for 20th Century Fox. But the point is that the bad guy is a thief who not only steals on Christmas, but is so possessed by greed he’d commit murder. That’s the ultimate Christmas villain.
Then, there’s our protagonist, John McClane, a loveable but still rough-around the edges father flying across the country to meet his wife (they’re separated) and two kids for the holidays. Hoping to patch things up, McClane comes bearing gifts, like a gigantic teddy bear for his kids, and a dead bad guy bedecked with a Santa’s hat and a message for Hans Gruber.
McClane, Clark notes, even sort of has a surprise present for Gruber and company, using gift-wrapping tape to stick a pistol to his back.
As the T&P post concludes, while Die Hard might not be a conventional choice for a movie marathon including seasonal classics like It's a Wonderful Life, it's still definitely a Christmas film, albeit one containing "partial nudity and tons of dead bad guys."
Put on Die Hard tonight and have yourself a Yippee Ki Yay Christmas.
h/t Task & Purpose