Why is “Die Hard” not as wonderful as Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” or why should it not be considered as one of the best Christmas films ever made?
With many debates surrounding “Die Hard” and why it should be considered one of the best Christmas films ever, I decided to get back to it and watch it again to reconfirm or oppose that decision. Here is the thing, it looks like the big studios continue dictating to us what to watch on Christmas night, and what is to be considered family friendly so that even kids can enjoy watching movies that can make their heart grow even bigger.
Talking about hearts, feelings, or just to be a great example to others, “Die Hard” or John McLain can hardly be considered as someone who can provide a life-changing lesson to the younger or older generation. Indeed, Bruce Willis’ hero ends up at the right place when the terrorists happen to select the wrong target, wherein they have to decide who owns victory, in the end.
As you might know, Bruce Willis prefers having good guys win the fight. Even if that fight occurs on Christmas Eve, that does not mean this should turn into a tradition for all of us to watch it as something funny, entertaining and a family friendly piece, which may be for a certain age, but not for your little ones to look at something violent in the evening that should bring only hope, love, joy and peace.
As for the best Christmas movie ever, there’s no doubt that “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946) will beat any movie that dares to take its place. Just think about it and try to compare the impact Frank Capra’s classical piece will leave on audiences hearts, while “Die Hard” would fail to do the same. The 1946 film is about one frustrated businessman who decides to take his own life because he thought people he cares about deeply are better off without him. This is when an Angel is sent down to Earth to guide James Stewart’s George Bailey through the different stages of his life and show how different it would be for those who he dearly appreciates if he was not around.
And that is what makes this film so unique, so beautiful, so hopeful. It reminds us that unity, the love of people around us, friends, companions, even colleagues are the most important things we should never underestimate. Because that is life and it is even more wonderful when you know everyone – your neighbors, friends, family, colleagues or even random people you met once will be there to give a hand. That’s why it is called “It’s a Beautiful Life.”
That said, John McTiernan’s legendary “Die Hard” with Bruce Willis and late Alan Rickman is an absolute thrilling piece of art that satisfies the viewers’ expectations: it has action, drama, comedy and the favorite holiday of all, Christmas, which this film cleverly uses as one of the main premises. However, due to the violence, killing, curses, the appearance of a poster of a topless woman twice in the film, and not to mention tons of gun fire scenes, it is not what the majority with children would like to watch on Christmas while Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” would win the bet by not only getting G rating, but having everything what every other family/holiday film would wish to have.
To conclude, if you still have a doubt which one to watch and what is better suitable for family preview during Christmas, then you should probably check out both films and analyze yourself from what movie you think a younger viewer can benefit from – from a film with a harsh title such as “Die Hard” or something appealing and promising such as “It’s a Wonderful Life”. It’s your turn, my most precious reader, to tell.