“‘Die Hard’ is not a Christmas movie,” my Adored stepson insisted when I suggested we watch it.
“Yes, it is. Let’s watch it, and I’ll point out all the holiday references.”
So we did. And I stopped pointing out holiday references after the first five minutes, there were so many of them.
The first installment in the long-running “Die Hard” series is set on Christmas Eve when John McClane arrives in Los Angeles to reunite with his estranged wife working some high-dollar gig for the Nakatomi Corporation. McClane, a hard-boiled New York cop, stumbles on a terrorist takeover of the high-rise where his wife is partying with her corporate colleagues. Expletive-laden mayhem ensues.
The movie includes Christmas decorations, Christmas travelers, a Christmas party, Christmas bonuses, Christmas punch and at one point, the elevator doors open to reveal a dead Scandinavian terrorist dressed in a Santa hat with “Ho, ho, ho” scrawled across his chest. Bruce Willis as John McClane is like a foul-mouthed tough-guy equivalent of the little dog on “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” How much more holiday can you ask for?
The score is inspired, mixing snippets of recognizable Christmas songs with doom and dread. It beats another draggy “Silent Night” or sing-songy “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” any season of the year.
But let me share the greatest gift of watching “Die Hard” last night with my 19-year-old stepson: He had never watched it before.
“I’ve seen the modern versions, but I haven’t seen this one,” he said nonchalantly.
What?! Never seen “Die Hard”?!
I relish in introducing him to a classic, but usually it’s science fiction (watching “Aliens” with him the first time, after I had watched easily 100 times, was like seeing it with new eyes).
(I’m not the only one who appreciates nontraditional Christmas movies. Check out a list of a dozen of them here, where you’ll find the original “Die Hard” trailer — bonus! By the way, we watched “Reindeer Games” on Saturday night, so next up for us has got to be “In Bruges.”)