Hi, I’m Annice and I’ve never seen Die Hard…
In 2018, I watched Home Alone for the first time and it was magical. So this year, I thought I’d watch another classic Christmas film that I should have watched by now… Die Hard.
Before sitting down to watch the film, I knew only 2 things:
- There is much debate about whether or not it is actually a Christmas film.
- Alan Rickman is in it and Alan Rickman is hot.
Die Hard begins with John McClane (Bruce Willis) visiting his wife and children who have moved to LA for his wife’s work – well done Mrs McClane (Bonnie Bedelia), you go girl. John visits her office Christmas party and is the grumpiest man in the world – no wonder she left him – but then of course, as happens with all office Christmas parties, terrorists (led by the beautiful Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber) storm the offices to steal some money or codes or something like that. It is the 80s after all.
Importantly, the standout element of the movie was Holly (Mrs. McClane).
Holly McClane is a feminist icon, not only because of her power-suits and amazing 80s hair, but because she followed her own career from New York to LA; she’s independent and powerful in her own right.
She is thriving in her career and is, by all accounts, doing fine without her man – a part of me even hoped she was having a steamy affair with the hot bearded guy.
When John says that her move to LA changed their marriage, she tells him that ‘it changed your idea of what a marriage should be’. It is really exciting to see a genuinely independent woman. She stands up for her colleagues, standing up to Alan Rickman with sass and sexual tension (though maybe that’s just me?). When he says: ‘What idiot put you in charge?’ She returns with: ‘You when you murdered my boss.’ YAS QUEEN!
Then I remembered that this was a film released in 1988 and that I am more impressed with this representation of women than a lot of the women in the films of 2019. Then it became a point of sadness.
But back to Alan Rickman because Alan Rickman is hot!
I have always liked Alan, even as Snape. This is probably why it was even a surprise to me that I hadn’t seen Die Hard before now.
He doesn’t disappoint either; he is charming, cunning and of course very attractive. This was also Rickman’s first film! Can you believe that?
I particularity liked the scene in which McClane and Gruber met and, as I learned watching the Netflix’s “The Movies That Made Us”, this moment came by accident when Rickman said on set that he could do a convincing American accent. This moment was a saving moment for McClane, as it was important for him to prove that he was more than just an annoying grumpy cop that takes over when someone else is clearly more qualified. In this moment, he proved that he’s smarter than both Rickman and I thought he was.
I do not want to start another argument about whether or not this is a Christmas movie – I will leave that to Jack in The Film Magazine’s article “Is ‘Die Hard’ a Christmas Film?” – but my two cents are this: Die Hard is not a Christmas film.
It might be a film set at Christmas but it is not a Christmas film.
It is actually a film about a husband who should have just said sorry to his wife.
The only element of the film that makes it Christmassy is that it is set at Christmas, and people in the film try to force the idea that this is a Christmas film by whistling Christmas songs at me. I mean what says Christmas more than someone blowing off someone’s knee caps?
Die Hard is, however, important for Christmas because it helps to create a ritual for people that do not want to watch any of the plethora of sugar-coated Christmas films at this time of the year. It’s like how I personally watch Trainspotting on Valentine’s day.
As Jack says: ‘perhaps, it’s a Christmas film for those not so big on Christmas’.
Regardless of how typically Christmassy this film is, I did find myself asking: will I be watching this every Christmas for the rest of my life?
My answer: yes of course!