Ah, the age-old debate. It has come up seemingly every single year since the internet became a thing.
“Die Hard is a Christmas movie!”
“It is not! Die Hard is NOT a Christmas movie!”
Released in 1988, Die Hard is renowned as one of the great action/suspense movies of all-time. Starring Bruce Willis, who at the time was known primarily for his role on TV’s Moonlighting, the movie owns a whopping 94% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and maintains a fantastic 8.2 rating on IMDb. Say what you want about whether or not Die Hard is a true holiday flick, but it is widely considered a very solid movie by fans and critics alike.
Great, it may be. But is it a true Christmas movie? Depends who you ask! And since there is no official designation, it is—and always will be—up for debate. What would December be without something trivial to argue with friends and family about, like whether or not a random movie qualifies to be included within a certain genre?
Jason LaPlant, movie aficionado and co-host of YouTube hit series “Adventures in Pop Culture“, is a particularly reliable reference when it comes to movie opinions. “I feel like I’ve been programmed by the internet to think of it as a Christmas movie, but when I first saw it I didn’t correlate it with Christmas,” LaPlant said.
Many fans feel the same way. Die Hard is a movie that happens to take place during Christmas. There is a Christmas party taking place. There are numerous holiday references throughout. But at the same time, the central plot revolves around terrorists committing horrific murders, and countless dollars in property damage.
So does any movie that takes place during Christmas instantly become a Christmas movie? Or does the plot have to revolve around Christmas? Like, if John McClane was trying to save Christmas, or if Hans and crew were there to steal all the presents, then it’s a total no-brainer. Obvious Christmas movie. But to simply have a Christmas party going on during a terrorist attack? That takes a little more imagination.
The bottom line is that it’s up for interpretation, and there should never be an official consensus as to whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie. If watching Die Hard around Christmastime each year makes you happy and gets you in the holiday spirit, then you should definitely watch it and enjoy the tradition.
Where do you stand on the debate, or don’t you care? Let us know in the comments!