Die Hard 2
Die Hard 2
is a 1990 action film that takes place on Christmas Eve two years after the events of the first film. In this film, McClane is waiting for his wife to land at Washington Dulles International Airport when terrorists take over the air traffic control system. He must stop the terrorists before his wife's plane and several other incoming flights that are circling the airport run out of fuel and crash. During the night, McClane must also contend with airport police, maintenance workers, and a military commander who does not want his assistance. Reporter Richard Thornburg, who exposed McClane's identity to Hans Gruber in the first Die Hard, is assigned the seat next to Holly. While in the airport bar, McClane spots two men in army fatigues carrying a package; one of the men has a gun. Suspicious, he follows them into the baggage area. McClane, in a confrontation, kills one of the men while the other escapes. Learning the dead man is a mercenary thought to have been killed in action, McClane believes he's stumbled onto some nefarious plot. He relates his suspicions to airport police Captain Carmine Lorenzo, but Lorenzo refuses to listen and has McClane thrown out of his office. Former U.S. Army Special Forces Colonel Stuart and other former members of his unit set up a base in a church near the airport. They take over air traffic control systems, cutting off communication to the planes, and seize control of the airport. Their goal is to rescue Ramon Esperanza, a drug lord and dictator of Val Verde, who is flying into the US to stand trial. They demand a Boeing 747 so they can escape to another country, and warn the Dulles controllers not to try to restore control. Upon learning of this, McClane realizes his wife is on one of the planes circling above Washington, D.C. with too little fuel to be redirected, and will likely to crash if the terrorists remain in control. He prepares to fight the terrorists. Dulles communications director Leslie Barnes heads to the unfinished Annex Skywalk with a SWAT team to establish communications with the planes. But Stuart's henchmen, disguised as painters and airport staff, ambush them, killing the SWAT team. Before Stuart's henchmen can kill Barnes, McClane bursts in through an air vent. In a gunfight, McClane kills Stuart's men. Stuart responds by using the instrument landing system to crash a plane, killing everyone on board. In response, a Special Forces team is called in, led by Major Grant. A two-way radio dropped by one of Stuart's henchmen tips McClane that Esperanza is landing. McClane gets there before Stuart's henchmen, but Stuart traps him in a plane and throws grenades into the cockpit. McClane escapes via the ejection seat. He is then able to locate the mercenaries and tell Grant and his team to raid the location. However, the mercenaries escape on snowmobiles during a shootout between Grant's team and Stuart's team. McClane pursues them, killing two more mercenaries and taking a snowmobile, but the gun he picked does not work. Stuart and his men shoot McClane's snowmobile, causing him to flee just as it explodes. He realizes that the gun contained blanks and that the mercenaries and Special Forces are working together. McClane contacts Lorenzo to send out officers to intercept the plane, proving his story by firing at Lorenzo with the blank gun. Thornburg, after learning about the situation through a radio transmission from Barnes, barricades himself in the airplane lavatory and phones in a sensational take on what is happening at Dulles, leading to panic in the airport and preventing the officers from reaching the plane. After learning of this, Holly subdues Thornburg with a taser. McClane hitches a ride on a news helicopter that drops him off on the wing of the plane, and he blocks the ailerons with his jacket, preventing the plane from taking off. Grant emerges and fights McClane, but is sucked into the engine. Stuart comes out to fight next, and succeeds in knocking McClane off the plane, but not before McClane knocks open the fuel hatch. After landing, McClane uses his cigarette lighter to ignite the trail of leaking fuel, which travels back to the plane, ignites the rest of the fuel and destroys the jet, killing all on board. The other planes, circling in the air, use the lighted trail to land, and McClane and his wife are reunited.
Die Hard 2

Directed by

Renny Harlin

Produced by

Charles Gordon
Lawrence Gordon
Joel Silver
Suzanne Todd


Bruce Willis
Bonnie Bedelia
William Sadler
Art Evans
Dennis Franz
Reginald VelJohnson

Music by

Michael Kamen

Distributed by

20th Century Fox

Release Date

July 4, 1990

Running time

124 minutes



Preceded by

Die Hard

Followed by

Die Hard with a Vengeance