The eternal debate as to whether 'Die Hard' is a Christmas movie or not rages on, and we're here to talk about why it isn't one for the holidays!
So here are seven reasons why 'Die Hard' isn't a Christmas movie (we're sorry!).
7. The R Rating
Whether or not 'Die Hard' is a Christmas movie will probably be forever debated among fans and Christmas movie-lovers alike. But what isn't a mystery is that the film holds an R rating. While such certificates were dished out like dinner for '80s action movies, 'Die Hard' does, from time to time at least, lean quite heavily towards being a bloody affair. There's nothing in particular that stands out, though, except for a henchman's knees exploding upon being shot and Joe Takagi's head popping like a water balloon. Other than that, it's pretty family-friendly stuff.
6. It's an Action Movie
This probably goes hand in hand with the R rating, but not necessarily. Action movies can of course be Christmas movies, too, but the latter does tend to revolve around the comedy, drama, or fantasy genre, while movies that are strictly-action focused tend to be nothing more than just that - action movies. Even if 'Die Hard' is a Christmas movie, it's probably an action movie first. After all, the whole plot involving terrorists being outwitted by a gung-ho NYPD detective trumps the fact the film is set at the most wonderful time of the year. Right..?
5. You Can Watch It At Any Time of Year
While you can say this about almost any Christmas movie, because it's entirely your choice when you want to watch your favorite festive flick, 'Die Hard' really can be watched at any time of year, and there needn't be any real guilt involved (unless of course, you're, ahem, a 'die hard' fan of the film and its more seasonal nature). The truth is that, even if 'Die Hard' is a Christmas movie, it's still somewhat easy to throw it in the DVD player between January and November and not necessarily think of it as such an affair. Although we are going to have to try that out, just to be sure.
4. Bruce Willis Says So
Yes, the star of the show himself even says that 'Die Hard' isn't a Christmas movie. Bruce Willis is known for being a complete Grinch where a movie's promotional side of things is concerned (something he's known to hate doing - diddums, our heart goes out to you, Bruce), but he has also gone on record to state that 'Die Hard' isn't the Christmas movie everything thinks it is. Does he have a point, or is he being the miserable old Bruce Willis we all know and sort of don't like anymore? Well, either way, if John McClane says it isn't so, then it must be true!
3. Christmas Doesn't Serve the Plot
This is something that can't be argued all that much. While the film does have some striking similarities with 'Home Alone', the real difference is the fact that Christmas doesn't serve 'Die Hard' as much as it does 'Home Alone'. In 'Home Alone', Kevin is left at home because of the Christmas holidays, and the Wet Bandits plan to rob his home because of the Christmas holidays. In 'Die Hard', you could quite easily superimpose Halloween over Christmas and it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference! Except for all the seasonal music and references, of course...
2. The Original Script Wasn't Set at Christmas
This is very true. Joel Silver's original script was purely good-guy-versus-bad-guys stuff and was allegedly very dark and serious in tone. However, director Joel McTiernan decided to draw inspiration from the Christmas classic 'It's a Wonderful Life' and give the 'Die Hard' script the merry makeover it deserved, thus transforming it into a Christmas classic-of-sorts in its own right. There's even a full interview with the director and the American Film Institute on YouTube, in which he discusses this in great length. Actually, what's the point we were trying to make?!
1. It Doesn't Feel 'Christmassy'
This is subjective, but for many, 'Die Hard' simply doesn't leave them feeling in the Christmas spirit. This is probably due to the R rating, or the fact it's an action movie, or maybe because it doesn't feature Santa or elves or reindeer, or whatever other ingredients that usually go into making a more orthodox Christmas movie. Nevertheless, 'Die Hard' might be a Christmas movie, but because of all the other components - largely the violence, we think - it's difficult to want to hit the eggnog and after-dinner mints post-viewing.