Christmas can be a dangerous time of year. With constant terrorist threats, drunk driving, and those awkward and intense moments with your family that end in fisticuffs, it’s a surprise that we survive it year after year. That’s why I think Christmas movies have imitated life, because almost each and every one entertains us by portraying how dangerous this time of year can be. Think about it. These films feature some sort of police activityies that are actually crucial to the plots. Don’t believe me, here’s eleven examples that we’re presenting to the jury that prove that Hollywood is obligated to put the police in holiday films.
11. Lethal Weapon/Die Hard/First Blood/I Come In Peace
Hollywood has had a fascination about placing action flicks during the Holiday season for years. Whether it’s the exploits of Riggs and Murtough in Lethal Weapon, officer John McClane outwitting terrorists in Die Hard, John Rambo essentially taking out an entire police force in First Blood, or Dolph Lundgren squaring up against alien drug dealers in I Come In Peace, these action films all take place during the holidays. What’s even more interesting is that they all involve cops saving the day from threats against humanity, with the exception of Rambo, but Brian Dennehy was a prick and he deserved it.
10. Jingle All The Way
Instead of making an action flick during Christmas, Hollywood decided to make a Christmas movie starring the action star of all time. During his quest to find the most sold-out toy ever, Arnold, along with Sinbad, constantly run into the same cop. During the course of the movie, this officer get shis hands burnt, gets blown up, gets his trooper bike trashed, and ultimately salutes Arnold when he’s impersonating Turbo Man.
9. Trading Places
This is one of my favorites during this time of year. The plot centers around a blue-blood, Dan Aykroyd, who trades places with a criminal, Eddie Murphy because of a bet between the Duke Brothers. Of course, chaos ensues. But, early in the film Aykroyd’s character has Murphy arrested, only to get arrested himself when he losses everything later on. If Billy Ray wasn’t arrested because of Winthorpe’s insistence, the Dukes wouldn’t have come up with their plan.
8. The Ref
Denis Leary plays a burglar who holds dysfunctional family hostage after he sets off an alarm in a house. The police set out after Leary, which is why he had to hold that crazy couple hostage in the first place, and eventually has to deal with their crazier family. Without the police intervention Leary would be on his jolly way, but then again, he wouldn’t have fixed the Chasseur’s marriage.
7. Home Alone
Before the McCallister’s leave for Paris, Joe Pesci impersonates a cop, which is how he finds out which families in the neighborhood won’t be home for the holidays. Then we have the cop that checks in on Kevin, but since no one answers the door, he leaves. So now, Pesci thinks the house empty, and Kevin could have let the police know that he was home alone, but then we wouldn’t have a movie now would we? Finally, after Kevin beats the bad guys up, the clueless cops catch the wet bandits.
6. Ernest Saves Christmas
Santa decides to take a trip to Orlando to appoint a new Santa. The guy he wants to be the new Santa is a children’s TV host, so he obviously has a scumbag agent. The agent doesn’t believe the old man, so he has Santa arrested. At this venture the movie earns it’s name when our favorite accident prone hero, Ernest P. Worrell, literally saves Christmas. He breaks Santa out of jail and helps Santa convince the new guy to become St. Nick.
5. The Santa Clause
What seems like an innocent kid friendly film is quite disturbing. Let’s see, Santa, Tim Allen, kidnaps his kid on Christmas Eve, then stupidly goes back to the scene of the crime and of course gets himself arrested. To make matters worse, he’s hauled out in front of kids who plead for the cops to let Santa go. Back at the station he’s interrogated, but won’t deny that he is indeed Santa. Eventually, some Elves break him out and everyone realizes that Scott Calvin is actually Santa Claus, which means that all those crimes are forgiven.
One of the best Christmas movies out there, in my opinion. In the climatic finale, Central Park Rangers chase Santa when he crashes in Central Park. Because the heat is on, Will Ferrell, his family, and New Yorkers of all people help save the holidays by believing in Santa enough to get his sleigh out of dodge.
3. Bad Santa
Billy Bob Thornton plays an alcoholic thief who pretends to be Santa. The police finally catch on to Billy Bob and his associate, which ends in a police chase. Billy Bob is gunned down in front of the “Kid’s” house but miraculously survives. It took all of that for Willie to become a good person.
2. It’s A Wonderful Life
Yes, even the quintessential Christmas movie itself includes the po-po. Remember the tipping point for George, Jimmy Stewart, is when his crooked busy Mr. Potter informs him that he’s going to issue a warrant for his arrest for back fraud. After the alternate reality scenes, we come back to a wonderful reality which includes the feel good moment of Mr. Potter getting arrested for fraud.
1. Christmas Vacation
After a Christmas filled with disaster after disaster, the Griswold’s get some unexpected guests, the police, which features a SWAT team breaking into the Griswold house to save Clark’s boss, who Cousin Eddie kidnapped. After the boss admits that cutting Christmas bonuses was a bad move, the holiday becomes one of cheer. Clark gets a larger bonus and the wacky family celebrates the day with Chicago’s finest.
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