It’s Christmas time once again, decorations, shopping, carols, Santa Claus and lots of Christmas movies. When it comes to Christmas movies everyone has their favorite. Most are the more traditional films; It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Carol, White Christmas, the list goes on and on. Those movies, while popular for decades, don’t get me in a Christmas mood.
I honestly don’t know what classifies as a “Christmas” movie. Is it set at Christmas time? Does it take place on Christmas Day? Does it star Santa Claus? Is it full of flying reindeer? My definition is pretty simple, if the movie is set at Christmas time, its a Christmas movie.
The movies below are some of the best Christmas action movies you should watch during the Christmas season. The ironic thing is, all of these ‘Christmas’ movies were originally released during the Summer Blockbuster season the year they came out. I saw them all during the their theatrical runs and have enjoyed them ever since. Although, now I watch them during the Christmas season.
#5 Die Hard 2 (1990)
John McClane (Bruce Willis) must save Christmas. Well not really but it does take place on Christmas Eve. McClane is at Washington Dulles Airport waiting for his wife to arrive from L.A. Before her plane lands terrorists take over the airport and threaten to crash the incoming flights. McClane jumps into action and tries to save the airport and his wife. Is he successful? Do they spend Christmas together? Watch and find out.
#4 Batman Returns (1992)
Batman Returns is the second best Batman movie and features the best Catwoman ever! Batman (Michael Keaton) must stop the Penguin (Danny DeVito) from killing all the first born sons of Gotham. A fittingly biblical theme for Christmas. The Penguin teams with Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) to help bring down Batman and take over Gotham.
Christmas is a major factor throughout the movie. Penguin and his gang attack during the tree lighting ceremony, Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle realize each others identity while under the mistletoe and the movie ends on Christmas with the Bat signal shining in the sky. If anyone can save Christmas, Batman can!
#3 Rocky IV (1985)
After the death of Apollo Creed (Spoiler!) Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) agrees to a fight with Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren). The same man that killed Apollo in the ring. Rocky flies to Russia and trains in the snowy, bitter cold Russian terrain.
The fight between Rocky and Drago takes place on Christmas Day. The last line of the movie is Rocky wishing his son a Merry Christmas. Talk about a great Christmas present…Rocky delivers a knock-out blow to the Cold War!
#2 Lethal Weapon (1987)
Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) a suicidal former Green Beret is partnered with straight laced Roger “I’m too old for this sh*t” Murtaugh (Danny Glover) in this buddy cop movie. We first see Riggs working undercover breaking up a cocaine ring in a Christmas tree lot. What’s more Christmas than that!?
Christmas is a running theme throughout the movie. Mr. Joshua (Gary Busey) shooting up the TV with a Christmas movie playing, the iconic fight scene between Riggs and Mr. Joshua in front of the house decked out with Christmas lights. The final scene is Riggs delivering a Christmas present for Murtaugh and then staying for Christmas Dinner. Lethal Weapon is a fantastic movie spawning multiple sequels and a TV series. This Christmas Season give yourself the gift of watching Lethal Weapon.
and the Number 1 Christmas Action Movie is….
#1 Die Hard (1988)
Was there any doubt? Die Hard is hands down the best Christmas movie of all time! (much to Jason’s dismay ? ) The entire movie takes place during the office Christmas Party at Nakatomi Plaza. I’ve been to some bad Christmas parties but nothing like this.
NYPD Detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) visits his wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia), in L.A. for Christmas. Get it, Holly… Christmas.. Holly… While McClane is relaxing, Nakatomi Plaza is taken over by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and his men in a high tech robbery. McClane is a one man army as he tries to save his wife and more importantly, Christmas from Hans Gruber. Can you believe this is Alan Rickman’s first movie?!? He was known for Stage and TV work up to this point.
If Christmas is the season of giving then John McClane embodies that spirit wholeheartedly, he gives the entire movie! McClane selflessly sacrifices himself so others can live and get home to their families. He sacrifices his feet, he gives advice to law enforcement, he gives Karl an ass-whoppin’ and he gives Hans the gift of flight! McClane is the ultimate gift giver, he should be named St. John after saving Christmas!
At it’s core Die Hard is a movie about a man trying to reunite with his wife and kids for Christmas.
Die Hard writer Steven E de Souza agrees its a Christmas movie, as does 20th Century Fox who released the following Christmas trailer.
‘Twas the night before Christmas, at Nakatomi Plaza,The office party was festive, but soon interrupted by drama.Hans Gruber and his men, had forced their way in,And taken everyone hostage, trapping them within.But how could they know, there was a cop up above,John McClane had arrived, to win back his wife’s love.He would take them all out, winning everyone’s praise,Welcoming Christmas Day, with his favorite catchphrase.YIPPEE KI YAY!
Die Hard also features one of the best Christmas songs from the 80s!
If Die Hard doesn’t get you in the Christmas Spirit, nothing will.
Ho-Ho-Ho, Yippee ki-yay and Merry Christmas!
What are your thoughts on a ‘Christmas’ movie? What’s your favorite Christmas action movie? Let us know in the comments below.