The most unexpected things can happen around the holidays. I don’t mean getting a strange gift or eating a new cookie, but something that no other Christmas could ever bring. Most of my Christmas’s have been pretty normal, so I cant say that something unexpected has ever happened, but I had a friend with an interesting experience. On a cold Christmas Eve, he and his family were on their way to Lake Tahoe, driving all the way from Southern California. About two hours short, their transmission failed and stalled the van. They were luckily close to a garage, so they hoped that the mechanic was working. Instead they saw a robbery taking place. A police cruiser was near by and the father yelled for the officer’s attention. The robber was caught, the mechanic was grateful enough to fix the car for free, and he is still friends with the family.
I’m not saying I want to see a burglary, but what I would like is a change of scenery every now and then for the holidays. What if my Christmas could be filled with machine guns going off and a skyscraper explosion at the top? It’s still not mine but it’s John McClane’s in the blockbuster hit, Die Hard. It may not be a movie that has actual Christmas themes, but this is too cool to pass up.
Coming in hot from New York to Los Angeles is detective John McClane (played by Bruce Willis). He’s visiting his wife that has taken a big job for a Japanese company. John is taken to the Nakatomi building by limo to a Christmas party. There he meets up with Holly McClane (played by Bonnie Bedelia) who is still questioning his decision to stay in New York that caused their separation. During the party, the building is taken over by German terrorists.
Led by Hans Gruber (played by Alan Rickman), the group is looking to steel six hundred and forty million dollars in bearer bonds from the company’s vault. They have rounded up everyone including Holly as hostages. The only one they missed was John, as he retreats without any weapons or shoes to the next floor to hide. He manages to kill one of the terrorists and retrieve his gun and radio. This gets him into contact with the police, but they can’t do much given the hostages. So it’s up to John to take everyone down from the inside and save the hostages.
As best described from the movie’s theme, Die Hard is a true “Ode to Joy”. This still holds up as one of the most exciting action films of all time. Bruce Willis is outstanding as the gruff and cynical, but likable John McClane. This was the movie the introduced Alan Rickman to American audiences as the true wicked actor. Plus, name me another action movie that ends with Dean Martin’s “Let it Snow”. Die Hard only counts as a Christmas film because it’s set on Christmas Eve and it has some funny Christmas related lines.
I’ll give this five sweatshirts out of five. This is a good movie to play with a great sound system. I wanted something unexpected for Christmas, and Die Hard is that magical gift.