“Die Hard” might be the greatest Christmas movie ever. It basically has all of the greatest bits of your favorite Christmas movie, all rolled into one. Plus, some boobs and a scene where a guy snorts cocaine off a desk and says, “I was just making a phone call.” A classic ’80s move.
All though the movie doesn’t have a whole lot to do with Christmas, it is just as moralistic and uplifting as “It’s a Wonderful Life” where a man is reconnected with the things that are really important in life, just like John McClane. And just like “Home Alone”, in which a child is left alone in a house to fight off petty burglars, McClane does the exact same thing except he does it using a machine gun and C4 explosives instead of wacky traps and crazy pranks.
And let’s be honest, it’s not just another Christmas, one could claim that “Die Hard” is also one of the most influential action movies ever made because it basically revolutionized one of the most copied formulas: a loner, by some unique twist of fate, battles it out with an “x” number of terrorists in an enclosed environment.
By the time that Die Hard was released, the action movies were most often dominated by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Chuck Norris. Bruce Willis was an unlikely choice for the role of the hero “John McClane” – since he didn’t have any action credits on his resume and the bulging biceps required for a role like this. But that’s the beauty of his performance in this movie: he’s an everyday guy, caught in a not-so-everyday situation.
On Christmas, McClane’s estranged wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) invites him from New York all the way out to Los Angeles to spend the holidays with the family. But it requires him to make a stop at the Nakatomi offices, which is having an after-hours Christmas party.
At Nakatomi, things get off to a rough start for McClane, as he gets into an argument with his wife. However, those problems are about to take a backseat to the real “party” – twelve terrorists, led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) – seize control of the building and proceed to rob the Nakatomi buildings safe. But they didn’t count on a “thorn in the side” to make things hell for these so-called party crashers.