Christmas is coming up, and here at Fangirlish we are counting down by reviewing our favorite Christmas movies. It’s the turn of Die Hard, an iconic movie from our childhood that began a successful saga that has accompanied us as we grew up.
Here we go!
I was barely 6 years old when Die Hard (1998) premiered, but it is one of those iconic films that marked a before and after in the way of making movies and, above all, in the way of making Christmas-themed movies. So I saw it when I was little and now, when rewatching it to do this review, I have gone back to my earliest childhood and that, when one is an adult (or is supposed to be) is always an experience that must be treasured.
The first thing I have to say is that Christmas movies are not my favorites. That’s why I like Die Hard, because it’s not a typical Christmas movie. The action happens at Christmas and at the end of the movie we find some situations so happy that they are typical of Christmas movies, but the rest of the movie is totally removed from the typical Christmas movie. To know what we are talking about, here’s the trailer.
A tough New York policeman, John McClane (Bruce Willis), who everyone hates for his personality and his methods, travels to Los Angeles to spend Christmas with his family, his wife and his son, since he and his wife are separated, she broke up with him because she couldn’t stand his behavior anymore. The case is that in Los Angeles, he ends up involved in a terrorist attack and he tries to prevent it from taking place and to catch the culprit.
Die Hard is basically an action movie in which the plot, although well told, is secondary, with the spectacular action scenes made by the typical Hollywood tough guy having more importance (we already know that the 90s were full of testosterone), so why did it set a milestone?
It marked it for its small details and spectacular action scenes. For example, already at the beginning of the film, they warn us that we are facing a new way of making Christmas movies when John McClane arrives in Los Angeles and meets a limousine, driven by the young Argyle (De’voreaux White). The trip to Nakatomi Plaza takes McClane to discover a bit of the city, until Argyle turns up the music and some Run DMC plays. However, John asks for some Christmas music. The conductor says that this is already Christmas music, although of a new generation.
It’s the perfect metaphor for the fact that Die Hard was a new kind of Christmas movie. Also, who doesn’t remember that cool scene when John takes out a terrorist from below? Not to mention the mythical scenes of John walking through Nakatomi Plaza through the ventilation ducts, or the scene in which John jumps from the terrace of the Nakatomi Plaza and, with the building caught in flames, is suspended before its facade only hooked by the fire hose.
This scene is brutal, the idea is preposterous and crazy but the crazy ideas are what make the difference. The scene seems so incredibly real that it marked a milestone in the history of action cinema, becoming over the years an icon of the saga.
In addition, the film has some key details that make us remember that we are facing a Christmas movie after all, apart from the sweet ending, in a scene of the film, McClane leaves a message for the terrorist boss on the shirt of one of his men: “Now I have a machine gun. Ho-Ho-Ho.”
And those details that connect a random scene on a plane about taking off your shoes and stretching your fingers each time you reach a destination and the moment when John is surrounded by broken glass and the head of the terrorist gang.
I also have to confess that action movies are not my favorites either, I prefer movies with more plot and less testosterone, but I like them more than Christmas movies.
In short, Die Hard is a different, fun and entertaining Christmas movie, which marked a milestone both in the way of making action movies and making Christmas movies and was the beginning of a great saga, so this first movie will always be one that will truly remain in our memory forever.
Yippee Ki Yay, folks!