A Christmas Movie to Die (Hard) For

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Die Hard (1988), a film about a single cop trapped in a skyscraper with twelve terrorists, still remains one of the best Christmas movies of all time, for good reason. It has fun for the whole family.

The movie begins with a love story of NYPD detective, John McClane (played by Bruce Willis), trying to reconcile with his ex-wife whom he still loves, (something many of us can relate to), flying out to Los Angeles around Christmas time to attend a party with her at this skyscraper where she works. There is plenty of enjoyment to be had in this very relatable story of liking someone who does not like you back.

On top of the romance, at the heart of this movie is plenty of high-octane action.

When terrorists take over the building and holds everyone (including John McClane’s wife) hostage, McClane slips away and starts taking out the twelve terrorists one by one in a series of intense, adrenaline-filled action sequences.

Using hit-and-run guerilla tactics, McClane attacks the bad guys then retreats and hides somewhere in the 40-story skyscraper while the bad guys hunt him down. Unlike most typical action movie heroes, McClane is not invincible; the odds are stacked against him. He gets seriously injured, and at multiple points in the movie, the audience is uncertain if he will succeed or not. His vulnerability grounds his character and makes him believable, and his perseverance to save everyone is admirable, makes the audience root for him. What makes him even more likable is all the sharp, witty one – liners he makes (like most 80s action movie heroes do), providing some comedic relief but without killing the immersion.

With a little bit of romance, plenty of exciting action, and more than a few comedic  moments, Die Hard provides fun for almost any audience, which is why it’s still one of the best Christmas movies ever and definitely worth checking out.

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