Yes, “Die Hard” is unequivocally a Christmas movie

Due to our current circumstances, it isn’t really wise to have a family gathering and celebrate the holidays. Instead, it would be best just to enjoy the company you already have. For example, I tend to spend the holidays watching movies with my parents. Granted, there’s always some sort of discourse. My mom either wants to watch some crappy Hallmark movie or “The Polar Express,” whereas my dad would rather be literally anywhere else. But I’d like to introduce another film that should be added to your Christmas watchlist. A very different kind of film that you wouldn’t expect to find among the pantheon of “A Christmas Story” or “Home Alone:” John McTiernan’s classic “Die Hard.”

There has been a sort of debate regarding this film’s status as a Christmas film. Many believe that it’s only loosely related to the holiday; after all, what’s stopping “Iron Man 3”, “L.A. Confidential,” or “Jaws: The Revenge” from being Christmas films? To be completely honest, among first glance, this is a very fair point. There are many films out there that just happen to be set during a specific holiday, and that shouldn’t necessarily mean that it is forever related to said holiday.

However, with “Die Hard,” the connection goes a bit deeper. The film follows John McClane (played by Bruce Willis back when he cared about acting), an everyman cop trying to reconnect with his estranged wife at her company’s office Christmas party. But then, German thief Hans Gruber crashes the party in order to steal $640 million in bonds from the company (around $1.38 billion in 2019). So this is essentially a case of a man being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Throughout “Die Hard,” there’s a lot of gunfire and explosions and machine guns and Bruce Willis being a serious pain in the ass. After all, this is your standard action movie, and an iconic one at that; in fact, this is the film that brought us “Yipee-Ki-Yay,” followed by Samuel L. Jackson’s favorite expletive.

But its nature as a Christmas movie is in terms of the plot itself. The very premise is a man wanting to reunite with his family for Christmas Eve. This is a very timeless premise, and after all, who do we tend to spend the holidays with? Yes, this is also about tank-top Bruce Willis shooting stereotypical European baddies, but it’s about doing the right thing as well. It’s about doing what you can to save the people you love; be a hero for your family.

… or just about shooting the bad guys.