Time to roll out the Christmas DVDs and as anyone in their right mind knows, there is no place like Nakatomi Plaza to give you that warm festive glow.
Seriously, it isn’t Christmas unless I’ve intently re-watched all 131 glorious minutes of this unrivalled cinematic masterpiece starring the legend that is Bruce Willis and which is now celebrating the 25th anniversary year since its debut on the big screen. As the original movie poster states, this is 40 stories of sheer adventure.
To me, nothing says Christmas like everyman-cop John McClane crawling through air vents, popping terrorists and writing ‘Now I have a machine gun – ho, ho, ho’ in blood on a dead man’s jumper and so you can imagine how perplexed I was when a colleague at work turned around and told me: ‘No. Die Hard is not a Christmas Film. I won’t accept it. Where are the Christmas messages?’
Well then, let’s set the record straight. Here are five clearly bona fide reasons why Die Hard bloomin’ well is a Christmas movie, thank you very much:
1) Every 8 minutes 42 seconds – That’s how frequently the word ‘Christmas’ is mentioned. This is because it is set at Christmas and because it is a Christmas film. Enough said.
2) It’ll Be Lonely This Christmas – So chug Mud in their classic 70s hit record and so John McClane agrees. Estranged from his wife – and remember she’s called Holly, a Christmassy name if ever there was one – the New York crime fighter casts aside their differences and flies in to LA to be with his beloved and their kids for a proper family Christmas, I’m pretty sure that’s a Christmas message right there and one we can all take heed of?
3) Office parties – It’s sage and timeless advice, never hook up with a co-worker at the office Christmas bash. No good can come of it they say. Case in point here. The terrorists burst in on some extra curricular activities as they round up the hostages after gatecrashing the Nakatomi party on the 30th floor. See, frolics with colleagues at the festive do equals bad consequences – including the possibility of terrorists storming the celebrations. That’s another Christmas message.
4) Surprises – Christmas is all about surprises. The giving. The receiving. Secret Santa if you’re that way inclined. John McClane is the master of surprises. Hans, the excellent baddy, played with the utmost aplomb by Englishman Alan Rickman for those who should know better, was certainly taken by surprise by the ingenuity of our at-large hero and just when Hans thinks he’s got a raggedy-looking McClane beaten as he holds the cop’s permed missus Holly Gennaro hostage at the end, our man deftly rips free a craftily hidden handgun – which he’d smartly strapped between his shoulder blades with ‘Season’s Greetings’ sticky tape – and whistles a bullet into Hans before turning the shooter on the villain’s remaining sidekick. A festive surprise if ever there was one and one that brings delight in the form of a win for the good guys. Heart-warming stuff.
5) It snows at the end – Technically, and we are talking mere technicalities, it isn’t snow but reams of white office paper that falls from the sky as a result of a series of explosions that wrack Nakatomi Plaza, and then, with the seasonal ante raised a considerable notch, in kicks The King of Cool himself, that’s right, good old Dean Martin rattles out ‘Let It Snow‘. At this point 99.9 per cent of viewers are reaching for the mulled wine if they have any sense. Baileys is also an acceptable option at this stage.
I rest my case. Now I just need one of these and I’m all set…