Day 8 - Die Hard

Forget Grandma.

Forget Aunt Edith.

Forget Cousin Joey.

If there's one person you should invite to your Christmas party, it's this man:

Yes, John McClane. Put him on your Christmas card list. Hope that he gets you in the office Secret Santa. Just make sure you're friends with him, because he's going to save your sorry ass for Christmas.

Take the Christmas party at Nakatomi Tower. Normal, late-1980s party: banging in the boardroom, snorting coke off the desks. But who invited the Germans?

Funny, I could have sworn he was English. I think I just saw him in London married to Emma Thompson.

Needless to say, the party takes a shit real fast. Hans Gruber is the Heat Miser, the Grinch (pre-Christmas), and the Wet Bandits from Home Alone all rolled up into one greedy, angry Hessian. Christmas, as we know it, is cancelled. Or is it?

Of course not. John McClane goes through hell and back again just so he can be with his estranged wife and see his kids again. While my previous post (Day 6 "Marge Be Not Proud--go back and take a read, I'll wait) endorsed Bart's Simpson's selflessness, this post will extol the other side of that: selfishness.

Before you take that the wrong way, I'll explain a few things. When the shit goes down and the Germans start shooting up the place, this is all John has his eyes on:

I know, what the hell, right? Well, the one thing Die Hard does right, and often, is foreshadowing. John smokes? THAT'S why he has the lighter in the heating duct. The advice John gets from his row-mate on the airplane. THAT'S why he doesn't have any shoes on for 2 hours. Okay, so maybe this means John isn't selfish?

Technically yes, he isn't. But John does think about himself. He has to in order to help others. He draws fire from the Germans on multiple occasions to save the hostages. He runs over broken glass to save the hostages. He draws fire from the FBI on the roof in order to save the hostages. All unselfish things in the long run, but it's all about what he has to do at the time in order to survive. Live in the moment. Right after cokehead Ellis, who tries to betray John, is shot by Herr Gruber, Sergeant Al Powell defends his actions by telling the Deputy:

"Christ, man, can't you see what's happening? Can't you read between the lines? He did everything he could to save him. If he gave himself up, they'd both be dead right now."

Essentially, sometimes you have to think of yourself before you can begin to think of others. Do what's right for you before you can do what's right toward other people. He's the only one in this movie who does this correctly; everyone else is selfish for the sake of being selfish. The Germans want to steal money for themselves. Nakatomi Corp. is filled with money-hungry people building offices around the world to the detriment of others, which even Hans thinks is despicable. The Deputy thinks about his reputation, while the FBI is fine with 20%-25% hostage casualties during a daring helicopter raid.

Die Hard is not necessarily a Christmas movie but rather a movie with Christmas undertones and messages about the lengths one has to go through in order to help others. Over the course of Christmas Eve, John McClane saves a bunch of people he doesn't know, saves his wife, saves millions of dollars from being stolen, and helps Sergeant Al regain his confidence in his career as a police officer. It has all the markings of a Merry Christmas.

Of course, with a bunch of dead Germans and security guards and a half-blown-up building, a lot of people are going to be working on Christmas Day. Not really a happy ending for those people. Though, you know who is smiling at the end of all this?

Nope not him.

Yep, him. He'll be expecting your invitation in the mail.

This entry was posted on Sunday, December 9, 2012. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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