Okay, Live Free or Die Hard is not going to win any awards or be the kind of movie that is referred to as “film.” It’s not the kind of movie I usually post about. It’s formulaic, totally unrealistic, and has too much violence. If you can get past this (and filter out some of the language), it’s a fun movie. I mean, (spoiler alert), the good guys win in the end. And, how can you not enjoy a movie where the hero takes out a helicopter with a car? Or, survives an F-18 attack while driving an eighteen wheeler? And, no matter what happens to him (tumbling out of a speeding car, shooting himself, or having a freeway collapse on him), nothing can stop him. One critic called it a live-action cartoon. Fair enough, but then again, it doesn’t pretend to be anything more.
John McClane is well known to movie audiences (LFODH is the fourth installment of the Die Hard series). He’s middle-aged now and old school; “a Timex in a digital world,” is how his antagonist describes him. He’s still in need of a personality transplant and seems to be afflicted with early onset crotchetiness. But none of that makes the movie worth writing about. What makes it write-worthy is his relationship with his daughter.
As the story begins, their relationship is non-functional. His past actions have alienated her to such a degree that she uses her mother’s maiden name (Gennero), rather than his. She has a good bit of his personality, so they clash in that way, too. Still, when she gets stuck in an elevator, it’s her father she wants contacted. When she’s kidnapped by the bad guys, she physically assaults one and challenges the other to “step outside.” When they hand her the phone to speak to her dad (presumably to plead with him to back off his pursuit), she instead tells him, “Dad, now there are only five of them.” And in finest father fashion, he tells her, “Hang on, Lucy. I’m coming.”
Later, when McClane is following them in the previously mentioned eighteen wheeler, the criminals are trying to figure out who is driving and what’s going on. She deadpans to them in an assured manner, “That would be my dad.” When McClane finally catches up to them, she tells him, “I knew you would come for me.” His reply is, “Of course I’d come for you.”
But my favorite moment was when McClane’s “partner” was captured and taken to where Lucy was being held. In a quiet moment he introduces himself and she tells him, “I’m Lucy McClane. He says, “I thought your name was Lucy Generro,” and she replies, “Not today.”
When the going got tough she took a stand with her father! She had unshakeable confidence in him. Despite their problems, she knew he loved her. She knew he would be there for her and that all of the bad guys in the world couldn’t change that. Well, God is no John McClane and life for us is nothing like what Lucy went through. But still, our lives know their share of dark days and lonely times. During them, it’s easier to entertain thoughts that we’ve been left alone or no one cares. Sometimes it seems certain that nothing we do makes a difference or that evil has the last word.
Maybe we could borrow a page from Lucy McClane and remember whose we really are. Our Father brought His children through the Red Sea, across a desert, and into a land of promise. He didn’t desert them; He won’t desert us.
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6).
Knowing that, we can live with courage, conviction and hope in regard to our future— because it’s in our Father’s hands. No one can do anything about that! So when discouragement and despair come calling, take a stand and don’t let them in. When doubt shows up, slam the door. Take a stand with your Father.
Tell them all, “Not today.”