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Blog // Thoughts
December 3, 2006

Christmas Films – Die Hard

Mention that Die Hard is one of your favourite action films and you will probably get some level of agreement. Die Hard was a defining film in the genre and paved the way for a string of fast paced action films through the 90s. Say, however, that Die Hard is one of the your favourite […]

Mention that Die Hard is one of your favourite action films and you will probably get some level of agreement. Die Hard was a defining film in the genre and paved the way for a string of fast paced action films through the 90s. Say, however, that Die Hard is one of the your favourite Christmas films and you will be met with a different response; probably one spiked with laughter and cynicism.

Die Hard is one of my favourite Christmas films.

It comes down to how we define the genre – Christmas film. If we want a tight definition based on Christian Doctrine, then very few films will really fit, including many that are popular. There’s something about Christmas films that is more than just about being set at Christmas, having trees and carols and decorations in the scenery.

Typically, this involves the journey of a main character as they re-evaluate their life, overcome cynicism, re-orient towards their family and, most importantly overcome some evil or moral malaise within their life. Sure, it is often variations on a Christmas Carol. However, the popularity of this plot-progression merits consideration.

Also, it’s obvious that Die Hard fits this pattern. It’s not just the obvious Christmas context, but also the narrative arc, the pattern of John MacClain’s (Bruce Willis) transformation. Not only that, but this happens in a knowing battle against greed/corporatism/consumerism (the company) and Nihilism (the terrorists).

Tomorrow, we’ll explore this in a little more depth and look at another unlikely Christmas film. In the meantime, you can look at some other analysis of Die Hard here, here and here.

[tags] Die Hard, Christmas, AFBCT [/tags]

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