Die Hard 2

Die Hard 2 (1990)

56 corrected entries

(23 votes)

Corrected entry: Shortly after the terrorists first start taking over the airport, the airport's chief engineer is shown scurrying about with an E6B flight computer in his hands. The E6B is a mechanical device, usually made out of aluminium, that is similar to a old-style slide rule. But it is used only by pilots to calculate things like course corrections due to winds - there is absolutely no reason that an airport chief engineer would carry one on the ground, especially in a time of crisis. Plus the mechanical E6B, even by 1990, had largely been replaced by electronic calculator type E6Bs by the airlines and even many private pilots.

Correction: However, that doesn't mean he wouldn't use one. It's 2019 and I still carry one in my flight bag.

Corrected entry: Just before McClane drops down from the vent to rescue the guy that's about to be killed from be the terrorist dressed as a painter, he fires 9 shots, and then he drops down and proceeds to shoot 14 more shots in the process of killing other terrorists, without reloading. His gun could not have held that many rounds. (00:45:45)

smd9

Correction: There's nothing to suggest he didn't reload. Later when we do see him reload, it takes him less than 3 seconds (including pulling out the new magazine). After he dropped down, he's off camera for more than 3 seconds.

Bishop73

Corrected entry: Apparently, Colonel Stewart had anticipated quite a few casualties among his own men - he only provided for 5 snowmobiles to make their escape.

goofyfoot

Correction: This is not a plot hole. He planned to need 5 snowmobiles. His other men may have been intended to use another route to escape or to remain behind and ensure the escape succeeds.

Corrected entry: When the aircraft start landing at the end, they all come in one after another, and we see them all parked at the end of the runway, (we don't see any of them turn off the runway onto the taxiways). That would never happen with commercial passenger aircraft. What if one of them had skidded on the ice and slammed into the rest? One would not land until the runway ahead was clear.

Correction: It was a desperate time, all the planes where running on fumes and could have crashed at any moment. The main priority was to get them down, even if that meant taking some risks.

Cybermoose

Corrected entry: Right before The Windsor flight crashes, the stewardess tells two passengers that they've made arrangements so they would make their next flight. Obviously this could only be done with communication with the ground. If they had sky phones the tower would have called them to warn what was happening.

Michael Prete

Correction: This isn't a mistake, this is ordinary customer service. She is assuming her company would arrange travel for the inconvenienced passengers because airlines typically do. She doesn't know anything about the terrorists, Barnes hasn't yet been able to contact the flight crews to tell them what's really going on.

BaconIsMyBFF

Corrected entry: At least half a dozen planes landed at the end of the movie, yet hardly any passengers are seen moving around during the closing credits.

jbrbbt

Correction: Since the passengers were no longer in imminent danger once on the ground, the respective crews were likely instructed to hold passengers on the aircraft until the NEA flight passengers had been cleared out, so as to not overload available resources, and given the freezing weather outside.

Corrected entry: When John McClain sends Officer Powell the fax of the fingerprints, notice the direction he feeds the page into the fax. The middle two fingers' prints are the first two prints to go across the scanner, followed by the outer two fingers' prints. With a fax, the first thing scanned is the first thing printed. Therefore, when Powell received the fax, the middle two prints should be at the bottom of the page with the outer two prints higher up on the page. You can see when Powell removes the page out of the machine that this is not the case. (00:24:20)

Tormoni

Correction: Faxes are not "streamed" live; in other words, the data is not being printed by one machine while it's scanned by the other. Instead, the machine scans the image and creates a file. That file is transmitted to another machine, which then prints the image according to its system preferences. So it's entirely conceivable for one machine to scan from "top" to "bottom" and another to print from "bottom" to "top."

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: On the plane, Holly informs the air hostess that Dick Thornberg filed a restraining order against her. She then goes on to say that this is because she knocked two of his teeth out. In the first "Die Hard" film, Holly punches Dick in the nose, not the mouth.

Correction: Because of the camera angle, we can't see the location of impact of Holly's punch. The fact that Thornburg only holds his nose doesn't preclude the possibility that the injury might've been more extensive. Also, given Thornburg's reputation and character, it wouldn't have been beyond him to have been lying about knocked out teeth when he filed the restraining order. Holly didn't stick around to see the results, so from her perspective that might've been what happened.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: In the scene where McClain lights the trail of jet fuel, and the fire catches up with the wing of the airplane, for 11 seconds there are several shots of the wing explosion showing fire moving from the rear to the front, engulfing the bad guys. In the very next shot, there is a side view of an airplane exploding from the front to the rear. (01:50:25)

Correction: Precisely. The flames engulf the "still intact" body of the plane from back to front, burning up the bad guys. Then the plane explodes from front to back. If the shot of the flames inside the "still intact" cabin was meant to be the same shot as the explosion, the cabin itself would not still be intact, but rather blown up as well.

Jazetopher

Corrected entry: At the start of the film when Bruce Willis is getting his car towed, he says says to the police officer 'Come on, cut me some slack, will you. Look, I used to be a cop in New York city. I only moved to LA because my wife took a job there. Come on, what do you say. Here we are, in Washington DC. The heart of democracy' it was meant to be Dallas International Airport in Texas?

Correction: Dallas is indeed in Texas. But Die Hard 2 is set in Washington Dulles International Airport, just like the signs on the building say, along with the actors.

Soylent Purple

Corrected entry: The British plane which the terrorists crash is Windsor 114. Windsor is the surname of the British Royal family, and it is forbidden for companies to use it as their name, therefore the airline cannot be called this.

David Mercier

Correction: This is incorrect. There are hundreds of businesses called 'Windsor' in the UK - just take a look in the Yellow Pages. It is forbidden for firms to claim Royal patronage or approval, but using the name is perfectly acceptable.

Corrected entry: Colonel Stewart and his men arrive at the airport in a helicopter. So, where do they get the Army truck they drive around in?

Correction: Colonel Stewart did not arrive in a helicopter, Major Grant did.

Corrected entry: Look at the people carefully when they run out of the airport. They don't seem to have any hurry or rush. You have to watch single people to see it. (01:38:20)

Correction: With the exception of elderly people, every person is running for their lives.

Knever

Corrected entry: When McClane is about to attach the church he notes that the guard is walking over his own footsteps. But there are some cars between him and the church so he can't see the guard's feet.

Jacob La Cour

Correction: He is just pointing out that the guard is walking back and forth, like he is guarding something or on an outlook, not that the guard literally is walking over his own footsteps.

Mortug

Corrected entry: In the beginning when the terrorists enter the baggage area they go in, in civilian attire with nary a blink from anyone. 1st off, I don't care how lax security is, someone would have noticed. In fact, when McClane approaches the door, a ramp worker is right beside it. Was he asleep a minute ago? 2nd, they seemed to open the door with no problem but when Bruce Willis tries, the door is locked. 3rd, why is there not a soul in the baggage area beside 3 men shooting guns?

Correction: Incorrect on most fronts. The door is in a quiet corner of the airport, it's quite possible that they would have gone unnoticed. When McClane approaches the door, a ramp worker is seen but he is busy with something and has his back to the door, so he would not have noticed the terrorists. Secondly, Cochrane uses a key to get in to the baggage area, so that would explain why it was locked afterwards. The third point is probably valid though, I would suggest re-submitting it on its own.

Corrected entry: Bruce Willis takes two torches out on the runway to try and save the plane that the terrorists are crashing on purpose. He is waving his arms back and forth in a fanning motion. When Dennis Franz and Fred Thompson see him from the tower, the orange lights that are supposed to be Willis are simply flashing on and off.

Correction: The lights look like they are only flashing on and off because Willis is so far away from the camera that his beacons are only visible when they cross above his head. He is, however, still waving them back and forth exactly as he was in the closer shot.

Corrected entry: A major plot element is that the terrorists have taken over the airport's radio system and that the hero's can't communicate with the planes overhead. The characters go to extraordinary (fatal) lengths to attempt to gain access to a radio that they can use to talk to the airplanes. The problem with this is that there are airplanes at airports. Every airplane has multiple radios that could communicate with other airplanes. All the vehicles that drive around the airport have radios. People carry handhelds. There are desktop units all over an airport.

Correction: The problem isn't the absence of radios. It's the terrorists' use and monitoring of the airport frequency. Radio frequencies are assigned to given airports, and it is this that approaching aircraft would expect to use. Any attempt to use another radio at the airport (vehicle, aircraft, etc) would still have to be broadcast on the frequency the planes are listening to - even if they wanted to use a different frequency, they would have no way to get word out to the circling aircraft first. They can only use the system they end up using because it's the only other frequency the planes are listening to.

Corrected entry: The error most fatal to this silly plot is the notion that shutting down the airport's communications will mean that no one can contact inbound aircraft. All one would have to do is go to any plane on the ground or use a handheld radio set to the tower frequency to advise inbound traffic of the problem. During the infamous blackout of 1965 that affected the entire northeastern U.S. for several hours, over 200 commercial aircraft landed safely at JFK airport in New York, in the dark, with no ILS, no runway lights, and no radio communication except radios working on aircraft sitting on the ground.

Correction: Part of the plot is that no planes can land there and they are not to communicate with the planes that are inbound. That is explicitly spoken.

Corrected entry: Prior to the 747 take off, Major Grant is sucked by one of the engines and all we see is blood being spit from its exhaust. Turbofans are very sensitive and would collapse after sucking a heavy bird (like a vulture), but this one remains intact after sucking a 200 lb man. (01:47:40)

Correction: Turbofan engines are specifically designed not to break during bird strikes and are tested using bird cannons to make sure they can continue to operate when hit. A man was sucked through a 737 engine on the ground in 2006 - photos are online of the aftermath, which is horrifically messy, of course, but surprisingly only a few blades are damaged. No doubt not good for the engine, but not totally destructive either.

Tell that to Captain Sullenberger and the passengers of US Airways 1549. Their plane's engines were completely disabled by some Canada Geese.

Correction: Flight 1549 was an Airbus A320. They could well have the same type of engine (CFM56s), but it is also not impossible the 737's may be different, depending on when it was built.

Corrected entry: The terrorists some how raise the elevation of the airport in relation to the ILS (instrument landing system). This causes one of the jets to crash. The ILS glide slope is broadcast from a fixed antenna beside the runway, 1000 feet from the approach end. The glide slope is fixed at (usually) 3 degrees. Even if someone changed the slope (ie, degrees of slant), it would still terminate on the runway at the touchdown zone. Besides, the pilots have charts that give all pertinent information about the ILS and also have altimeters, radar altimeters, ground proximity warning systems (GPWS), and brains (duh). All of those systems listed are on board the aircraft, independent of the ground based systems. They would not have descended into the ground even if the terrorists had tampered with the ILS. (00:52:40)

Correction: The terrorists didn't tamper with the approach angle, but rather set the effective ground level at -200 ft. An older plane like the Windsor Air DC-8 likely didn't have a GPWS system in 1990 as they weren't required yet by the FAA, and you can hear Col. Stewart (impersonating ATC) giving them an altimeter reading that would've calibrated the altimeters incorrectly. Add to that the fact that the pilots were unable to fly visual due to the snowstorm, and you have them relying on faulty instruments and not able to realize they were too close until it was too late.

It would not have had GPWS but it would have had a Radalt, which cannot be tampered with in flight. That Radalt would show their height above field elevation rather than above sea level like the barometric altimeter they had them reset. The crew would have initiated the Go Around upon reaching this Decision Height and not having the runway environment in sight.

Plot hole: The only reason the terrorists' plot can work is that the airports around Dulles are all closed to landings because of the violent snowstorm. If there were no storm, the pilots of the airliners in the holding pattern would simply divert to nearby airports when they started running low on fuel. If they were able to do that, the whole plot would simply fall apart. How were the terrorists able to count on the storm happening on the very day General Esperanza's flight was due to land? They didn't have any influence over the date of his flight. How did they know the storm would be so bad that all airports would be closed - except Dulles? I don't think they had any way of predicting the weather quite that accurately, and If the storm hadn't hit or had been even slightly less severe the pilots of the stranded airliners could easily have diverted to any one of half a dozen alternate landing sites, including a nearby Air Force base. They could do this without consulting or even contacting air traffic control. The whole plot falls apart from there - no hostages, no leverage, and who cares what happens to the people on Esperanza's plane? They'd have it shot down as soon as they knew Esperanza had killed the pilot and taken over the flight.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The terrorists in the film planned extensively for this operation, but the storm occurring may have just been a coincidence for them. They may also have had the plan waiting for a perfect opportunity, like a snowstorm. In the beginning of the movie, there's a news story on while the Colonel is exercising nude. The story says Esperanza's extradition has been long and drawn out, until a phone call from..." and he cuts the TV off. Given his connections, Colonel Stewart may well have been able to arrange a State Department call the week of a predicted snow storm. Esperanza's adherents may also have been able. Another scenario they may have had is to take the Air Traffic Controllers hostage (as they did) and have the other aircraft diverted for a supposed emergency, but the snowstorm worked out. Whatever the case, that element of the plot is an interesting discussion, not a mistake.

If the storm hadn't hit the pilots of the stranded airliners could easily have diverted to any one of half a dozen alternates, including a nearby Air Force base. They could do this without consulting or even contacting air traffic control. The whole plot falls apart from there - no hostages, no leverage, and who cares what happens to the people on the Esperanza's plane? They'd have it shot down.

That bothered me too when I first saw this in theatres. The chances of it snowing in D.C. on any particular day are pretty low, and the plan falls apart without it. The only way to 'fix' this is to assume that when the film was originally written, it was set in New York City. This makes more sense thematically...with the original set in Los Angeles. But at some point, probably late in the production, they changed it to D.C. for some reason, and made it fit as best they could.

The snowstorm was not part of the plan. Early on when the group of terrorists is sitting around the table about to exchange the package, Cochran is listening to a weather report and states that a huge storm is approaching, which makes the other men smile and one of them responds "God loves the infantry." The terrorists could still crash planes without the snow storm because they could impersonate the tower. The planes that are circling overhead are the planes that didn't have enough fuel to be diverted to another airport and that has nothing to do with a snow storm. The blizzard was simply fortuitous for the terrorists.

BaconIsMyBFF

The airliners we see could easily glide to any one of seven nearby airports from the airspace over Dulles, let alone fly there when fuel began running low.

That is a separate issue (and is indeed a mistake in the film) that doesn't really have anything to do with the blizzard. This film acts as if Baltimore Washington International or Richmond International Airport don't exist.

BaconIsMyBFF

And since they do, it is both a plot hole and a factual error. If they had called their fictional airport Springfield International, fine, but they didn't. They identified it as Dulles International which is within easy flying - or gliding - time to half a dozen other airports.

This is possible that other airports were closed due to bad weather.

Which necessitates the terrorists knowing that! They had to know the storm was coming for their plan to work. The stranded airlines could easily have diverted to an alternative even if that meant gliding, and they could do so without consulting air traffic control.

The terrorist obviously knew that. They are very arrogant and planned everything very accurately. They knew that other airports are closed because of the bad weather.

The airports were closed AFTER Esperanza's flight took off. The storm is an essential part of the terrorist's plans. Storms like the one we see can can diminish very rapidly or veer away from their original course (I have seen both happen) and cannot, ever, be counted on to the meticulous extent the terrorists do.

More mistakes in Die Hard 2

Gen. Esperanza: Freedom.
[John McClane appears and punches him in the face.]
John McClane: Not yet.

More quotes from Die Hard 2

Trivia: When being played on basic cable or regular TV, John McClane's catchphrase "Yippee ki yay, mother fucker!" is sometimes oddly redubbed as "Yippee ki yay, Mr. Falcon!" Falcon is the call sign for General Esperanza's original flight, which half explains the odd wording.

Phaneron Premium member

More trivia for Die Hard 2

Question: How could McClane tell that the ammo in the blue labeled magazine were blanks?

Answer: If you listen, he says something to the effect of "I know I had that guy in my sights", meaning he is amazed he missed. So he checks the bullets in the magazine to see if that's the problems. Blanks are simply shells with no bullet that are crimped shut to hold the powder in. The difference between blanks and live rounds is very obvious even at a glance.

Grumpy Scot

Answer: Just before the attack on the church, Grant and his team switch the red taped clips from their weapons with blue taped clips. The blue clips carried blanks and the red clips carried real ammo. After firing on a guy but not hitting him, McClane checked the clip and realised that the gun he used had blanks and that Grant and his team were involved with freeing Esperanza.

More questions & answers from Die Hard 2

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