Dec. 24th, 2018

defrog: (Default)
Recently the interwub has been raging over one of the most important questions of our time:

Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?

I have decided to weigh in on the debate over whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie. For me, I have a two-pronged yet simple answer:

1. Die Hard is not a Christmas movie

Obviously, the question mainly hinges on the criteria of what counts as a Christmas movie in the first place, and according to various articles I’ve read, the criteria varies but is generally narrowly tailored to ensure that Die Hard counts as a Christmas film.

Basically: “If it takes place during Christmas, it’s a Christmas movie.”

Based on that criteria, I could say The Fugitive (1993) is a St Patrick’s Day movie.

My own criteria goes like this: “It has to take place during Christmas, and this should inform the narrative in some fashion, whether it treats Christmas as a secular or religious holiday, or as a positive or negative thing. If the story itself can play out regardless of the holiday, it’s not a Christmas film.”

I would argue this is true of Die Hard. The Christmas setting doesn’t add anything to the story, apart from perhaps a nihilistic counterpoint to the main narrative, but the story could have been set any time of year without losing anything essential.

Not that it matters too much – I’m reasonably sure that most people who insist Die Hard is a Christmas film fall into four categories:

(1) People who are just trolling or trying to be punk-rock to annoy people who like proper Christmas movies
(2) People who hate proper Christmas movies
(3) People who hate Christmas altogether
(4) A combination of the first three categories.

2. Die Hard is a retroactive NRA propaganda film that embodies and endorses virtually every value embraced by the current NRA leadership.

There’s practically a checklist:

• Good guy with a gun
• The good guy with a gun is working-class rugged individual who doesn't like people telling him what to do
• The villain is an educated intellectual AND a foreigner
• Federal govt incompetence
• Justification of excessive deadly force by law enforcement offers
• Specific repudiation of Miranda and other “rules” that hinder police officers from doing their job (which is killing criminals caught in the act of committing crimes)
• Bad guys reduced to one-dimensional evil targets that can be killed off with sneers and one-liners, after which their dead bodies can be used as messaging devices.
• Wholesale murderous violence as redemption, proof of manhood and a way to win a woman’s love and respect (or in this case, win it back)

Probably the only reason the NRA doesn’t use it as a training video is they can't get licensing permission.

Anyway, no matter whether you consider Christmas to be a secular or religious holiday, there is nothing in the above list that even remotely reflects what Christmas is about.

ADDENDUM: Even if we agree that Die Hard is a Christmas movie if you narrow the criteria sufficiently, it’s ALSO an NRA right wing fantasy movie.

ADDENDUMDUM:
I’m not saying Die Hard is a bad movie. On its own merits, it’s better than most 80s action movies, thanks mainly to Bruce Willis being an unlikely action hero, and Alan Rickman being so good.

But a Christmas movie? Only if you really hate Christmas. Or love the NRA.

I mean, we’re talking about a film where at one point the good guy takes the body of a man he just killed, sits it in a chair, writes a note in the guy’s blood to the villain, and puts a Santa hat on him. Which is not exactly in the spirit of the holiday.

It’s kind of psychotic, actually.

Like the current NRA leadership.

Ho ho ho,

This is dF

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