Die Hard 2

Question: When McClane ejected from the cockpit of the military plane, why didn't Colonel Stewart and his men shoot him while he was in the air? These men deliberately crashed a commercial plane killing innocent civilians and by doing this, it's obvious that they are ruthless, so why wouldn't they try to kill their main enemy when he is at his most vulnerable? (With the weapons the soldiers had, McClane was still in range to be hit.) Can someone explain this for me?

Answer: Because the police were moments away from arriving at the scene. They needed as much time to get away without being tracked. Every moment counts. And a target rocking about a few hundred feet in the air doesn't seem to be such an "easy target".


Question: Why was McClane introduced in the first Die Hard movie as a New York badge, and in the second Die Hard movie as a L.A. badge? Then in the third Die Hard movie, he's again a New York cop.

Answer: In the first movie he's a New York cop visiting his wife. In the second Die Hard, he tells the airport officer that he's LAPD and moved there because of his wife's job. In the third Die Hard film, he most likely went back to New York because of marital problems and became a New York cop again.

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.

Quite apart from the fact that anyone who has spent his whole professional life with guns would know instantly that he had just shot off a magazine of blanks – no recoil.

Question: The reporter asks John about the body at the airport. "I saw the stiff, word is that's your handiwork." John responds "I only do needle point". What was that supposed to mean?

Quantom X

Chosen answer: His way of dodging the question, of being sarcastic as he tries to get away from the reporter, trying to push the blame off himself and needlepoint being a craft/hobby that everyone is familiar with.

What was he being sarcastic about?

He was being sarcastic about needlepoint (a type of embroidery or hand stitching) being his only handiwork.


Answer: I believe it was in response to the reporter who said, "Rumor has it that was your handiwork" (the handiwork being killing of one of the stiffs).

Question: Can someone please put to bed a question that has been raised and not answered...why would the terrorists try to blow McClane up with grenades that have enough of a delay to make a quick coffee in?

Answer: There is no in-universe explanation...they didn't go to an arms dealer and say, "Give us your longest-fused grenades, we want to give our target a sporting chance." There is no deleted scene where Col. Stuart wonders aloud why those grenades took so long to explode, while making himself a coffee. This-the hero in a deadly situation and escaping in the nick of time, regardless of how long grenades actually take to explode in the real world-is an action movie trope and nothing more, in a film that is chock full of them. It would be a pretty sad movie, not to mention a bad one, if McClane got blown to bits by grenades, and the bad guys won.

But surely they could have filmed this scene in slo-mo to stretch out the 7 second delay to whatever it becomes, OR edited it in such a way it appears to take longer when it actually doesn't?

The grenade fuse time is deliberately lengthened so the audience can process what is happening. The audience has to see the danger of the grenades, understand that McClane must get out of the cockpit without the bad guys shooting him, see McClane think of the ejector seat plan, and then execute that plan. It's ridiculously unrealistic but McClane is meant to be clever and resourceful so the audience has to see him work out the problem. If you used slo-mo it would make it seem like McClane instantly figured out a solution, which would make him look superhuman.


Answer: It's worth noting that they wouldn't have to pull the pins out of all the grenades, just one. That one would cause the others to explode as well.

Question: I have been trying to ID the blade used by the sentry at the church; also by the special ops commander to cut the throat of the "new guy" radio operator.


Chosen answer: It's by Jack Crain, called the Die Hard 2 fighter. See http://www.jackcrainknives.com/movieknives2.htm.

Answer: From what I've gathered, they had some creative differences and butted heads a few times over how McClane was portrayed (Ex. Harlin wanted more humor out of McClane while Willis wanted less), but mostly got along well behind-the-scenes.


Question: Stewart gives the tower 2 minutes to talk to planes and tell them to hold at the outer marker. Why didn't they just use that 2 minutes to say they are under attack or something and to land elsewhere? They could have said it quickly and the bad guys wouldn't have had enough time to turn their communications off.

Answer: Because then the movie would be over. The filmmakers have said that they included deliberate mistakes in the plot so that actual terrorists would not be able to "recreate" the scenario in real life. This is one of those instances where, in reality, the control tower WOULD do what you say, but in an action film, it's a deliberate deviation from reality in order to advance the plot.

Answer: Because the Control Tower employees would have been murdered or some innocent person. The Terrorists could have taken over given the wrong landing coordinates to crash a plane as punishment, as they did later on in the movie.

That's not how it would work. If the tower tells all the planes that someone has taken over their systems, and they've lost all control, then the terrorists wouldn't be able to crash any planes because the pilots would already be aware of it. It's simply because like the other reply said, if the tower warned the planes during the time Stewart gives them, then there would be no film.

Question: Just watched "Die Hard 2" for the ten-thousandth time. Finally occurred to me, WHY would a pilot use a burning plane crash as a landing light? "Oh, there's a burning plane crash down there! Must be a good place to land!" As far as I know, all air traffic is diverted to other airports when an aircraft crashes.

Charles Austin Miller

Chosen answer: The trail of fire from McClane lighting the jet fuel creates a visual marker that the pilots can aim for. Not the best situation, however, considering that they're low on fuel and that one other plane has crashed that evening already, the pilots decided to settle for the less-than-ideal method of guiding their planes in.

Captain Defenestrator

Question: When McClane is crawling up into the elevator shaft and the news reporter mentions Colonel Stewart, McClane looks at her and says "Stewart, that's who it was." Did he mean "That's who it was on the speaker." Or "That's the guy I bumped into today"?

Gavin Jackson

Chosen answer: That's the guy he bumped into earlier, and didn't remember where he'd seen him from until she said his name.

Captain Defenestrator

Question: When McClane comes across the two terrorists in the luggage hold, what exactly are they doing? They finish the process before McLane calls out to them (one says, "We're ready to roll", or something similar). Any ideas?

Answer: Not too long after the special forces team arrives, one of them finds a device in the luggage area and said something like "Traced the signal. Found it in the luggage belt." They'd planted it there to listen to the tower chatter.

Mister Ed

Question: Why were the two bad guys in the luggage room in the beginning?

Answer: They were placing devices that monitored the radio and phone chatter at the airport. That is why the "bad guys" always knew what the "good guys" were up to. I say devices becuase they placed two devices as the "decoy" one is found later by one of the soldiers.


Question: When McClane asks Barnes to 'break the code' on one of the baddies' Walkie Talkies, Barnes tells him it is impossible as it is a 10 button device with a 6 digit readout..."There could be a million combinations!" How can there be a million combinations? Surely the largest number on a 6 digit readout is 999,999.

Answer: You forgot 000000.

Jon Sandys

Answer: Totally agree with the other answer, but also, someone saying, "There could be a million combinations!" can also just be a deliberate hyperbole, and never meant to be taken literally. It's like saying, "I told you that a thousand times already."


Except that a 6-digit code literally has a million combinations. It's not hyperbole at all.


Oh really? No kidding? Never disputed that there was one million combinations. The character, however, could have intended his comment as a hyperbolized, off-the-cuff remark that was not meant to be an exact number count. He said, "There COULD be a million combinations!" He did not say, "There are precisely one million combinations." He could have meant it either way. There was more than one way to interpret what he said.


This is a strange situation because the wording suggests that Barnes is using hyperbole ("there COULD be a million combinations..."), but mathematically the number of possible combinations with a 0-9 keypad and a 6 digit readout is exactly 1 million (10x10x10x10x10x10 = 1,000,000). So he is technically not using hyperbole but that was his intent. So it's both hyperbole and not hyperbole at the same time. It's kind of fascinating, actually.


Question: One of major Grant's soldiers says he found the device used by the terrorists to tap into the tower's communication system. So, why doesn't this put an end to the entire incident? If the soldier found the device used to bypass the tower, and disconnected it as we see in the scene, how can Colonel Stuart still have control over all the other civilian planes? (01:05:10)

Answer: Because Grant's soldiers were working with Colonel Stuart, they were on the inside making sure that he does maintain control of the airport.

Question: In the scene where General Esperanza takes control of the plane he is on, it shows him locked in chains, but then later it shows him strangling the guard aboard the plane. it is never shown how he got out of the chains, so how did he do that?

Answer: He wasn't released from the chains when he strangled the guard, he would have sweet talked the guard into coming near him for something, killed him and then got the key from him.


Question: When McClane crashes the bicycle into the bad guy, as he's trying to get back up airport police hold a gun on him and ask him for his ID (allowing the bad guy to get away) The airport police was with the janitor who let John into baggage area in the first place. He could've collaborated with John' story and confirmed he saw his ID previously but instead he just stands there smiling. Why would he not tell the airport police they've got the wrong person straight away?

Answer: As Captain Lorenzo explains (in very colorful language) what McClane does is improper. He has no authority to order the janitor to let him in an employee-only area by flashing a badge from the LAPD. All the janitor knows is that some cop (not airport police) showed his badge and asked to be let into the baggage area, which should sound suspicious to airport police right off the bat. It is likely they intended to detain anyone they saw in the baggage area, including McClane, and confirm their ID. The airport police officer apologizes once McClane's badge is found (off-screen) and gives it back to him, saying "Sorry, officer. Had to check." Even after all this Lorenzo suspects the men were simply stealing luggage and castigates McClane for getting into a shoot-out and killing a man on a hunch, especially since he has no jurisdiction in the airport.


Question: Is this true that there was a feud between Bruce Willis and John Amos on set? And, if it's true, then what was the reason behind their feud?

Answer: Amos said in an interview that there was tension on the set between him and Bruce Willis that was reflected on screen. He claimed Willis had humiliated him in public, though it wasn't specified what that was. Willis has a reputation of being difficult to work with and has had documented disputes with other actors, directors, and producers.


Question: Cochrane, the first terrorist that McClane killed, went through a machine that crushed his head. What was this machine, and what's its conventional function?

Answer: While it doesn't crush his head, if you look closely the chest doesn't go through, so it's also probable that the rolling press crushed the chest / upper abdomen.

Answer: I don't think it actually crushes his head (especially since you see his uncrushed head screaming), so much as he just gets electrocuted by the equipment, as you see flashing and sparks. I've seen it referred to in articles as a "baggage press," but I can't find anything about such a machine online. If I had to guess, it seems like it's being used to lightly compress baggage/luggage that are in thin or flexible containers, like duffle bags. (Probably to create more space for storage and transportation). Otherwise, it just seems to be some sort-of general part of the storage/sorting machinery.


Factual error: It is impossible for a stream of burning jet fuel to follow a plane through snow and catch up. Not only is jet fuel extremely hard to ignite, almost as soon as the plane was off the ground the fuel stream would be too dispersed for the flame to climb up into the tank, and even if not it wouldn't burn fast enough to catch the plane.

More mistakes in Die Hard 2

McClane: Hey, don't I know you?
Col. Stuart: No, I get that a lot. I've been on TV.
McClane: Yeah, me too.


More quotes from Die Hard 2

Trivia: Producers of the movie were concerned that actual terrorists could use the information in the film to disrupt airport/airplane communications in real life. Most of the "sensitive" information in the film is not only wrong, it is purposely misleading to prevent terrorists from attempting what we see in the movie.

Mark Bernhard

More trivia for Die Hard 2

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