Is it really FBI policy to cut the power to a building during a siege? The phone lines I can understand (though the 'terrorists' in Die Hard do that themselves) but cutting the electricity seems like an awful provocation in a volatile situation.
It depends. The phone lines are always cut, but the power is something they would consider on a case-by-case basis.
Which begs the question : how did the 'terrorists' know that the FBI would do it in this case? They were relying on it. Their plan would have failed without it.
Whether it's standard policy in real life, it is in the movie. Several characters say it's a known part of the "anti-terrorist handbook."
Cutting the power means that the terrorists lose lighting, air conditioning, and possibly plumbing. The idea is to "sweat them out" as the FBI guy said; make them so uncomfortable that they give up. Also means that they lose the elevators, so they have less freedom of mobility within the building.
Its worth pointing out to younger tropers that the first Die Hard came out 7 years before Oklahoma City and 13 years before 9/11. Giving in to demands and/or trying to flush them out was still considered a decent way to a peaceful solution.
It has been some time since I watch the fourth movie (which i consider the worst of the series), but I do vaguely remember a scene where the Big Bad reads aloud all the info about John McClane. That is his cop pension and family information, but NOTHING about John being a virtual superhero, who fought off three terrorist threats in the past. For that matter, how did John manage to remain a regular detective after all of the events in previous films?
The purpose of that scene is that Big Bad reads information that should be secure as a way of telling John just how good his hackers are in order to intimidate him. Everyone knows John McClane saved the hostages at Nakatomi Plaza, so there's no point in saying that. He then blanks those accounts to try and use it as leverage—immediately after, he tells John that if he kills the kid, he'll put it all right back and then wipe out his debts on top of that because he's just such a nice guy. Sure, it's a little bit of Wrong Genre Savvy that the guy doesn't realize that he's following in the footsteps of three dead guys, but that's pretty standard for a villain.
As for managing to stay a regular detective, well, what else is he supposed to do? Life goes on even after stopping a terrorist threat a couple times, so he's going to continue doing his job. Stopping three attacks over the span of a decade is, yes, somewhat above average, but it doesn't make you a "virtual superhero"—especially considering he almost certainly had to spend weeks recovering from each—and it doesn't mean you can just retire and live the high life. As the third movie showed, even being John McClane and saving your wife from two terrorist attacks doesn't mean you can even save your marriage.
Wow, I'm the only one who's thought of this? Okay, so John McClane kills so many people. But he's not wearing shoes. Why doesn't he just steal one of the dead guys' shoes and put them on? They're wearing socks, so he doesn't have to worry about fungal infections, and if he's really worried about it, he can douse them in alcohol (which should be abundant).
When he was scavenging gear off of Heinrich (the guy carrying the detonators), he had enough time to wisecrack with Hans over the radio, so he could've just as well taken his shoes, unless they were very tightly tied.
Maybe McClane has really big feet? After all, he is the hero :)
You're pretty much correct. If I remembered the respective scene correctly, McClane makes a remark wondering why terrorists have such small feet. It begs the question, is this innuendo / double entendre on body part size.
He tries to steal the shoes of the first terrorist he kills, but they're too small. I don't think he ever has time to for the rest of the film.
He could have just worn their SOCKS. Not hygienic,but better than having your feet get cut.
Except that would have increased the risk of slipping and falling if he walked over a tile or hardwood floor.
This Troper has considered the situation a lot, actually, and figured there was nothing he could do. He had to be Genre Savvy to suspect the terrorists would shoot the glass, and wrap his feet in some clothes before (or just so not to have other disadvantages, like stepping in stuff that could hurt you without shoes, if not necessarily glass. But at that tension, it's amazing he had the Properly Paranoid idea to disguise his name and his reason for being there in the first place. Probably wrapping his feet in something would have made him too much of a Chessmaster, or Bruce Willis with his feet in clothes would have been too Narmy. Take your pick. Also, yes, he tried the shoes of the first terrorist and they didn't fit, so he thought "What the hell, I'm fine barefoot".
He could have, y'know, moved the glass shards aside. Hell, drop on all fours and you can sweep it away with your arms.
A. That risks being, you know, shot by the guys who're shooting at him, and B. his arms are just as easily torn open by glass shards as his feet are.
It is worth pointing out that in the amount of time John would have been able to take to think "Hey, I could sweep this out of the way", he would have been dead. He had no time to think about it, period.
I may be misunderstanding the explosives used, but why, when John gets the detonators and realises how important they are to Hans, doesn't he try and dispose of them like by throwing them out the window? I was under the impression that the explosive they were using doesn't blow up unless it's in direct contact with the detonator.
I think he kept them as a bargaining chip, in case Hans ever figured out who his wife was.
They're also a tool. "Now I have a block of C4. Ho ho ho."
No, he used that up long before he realised that Hans still needed the detonators. But I take the point about them being a bargaining chip.
While This Troper agrees that John walking through shards of glass in Die Hard 1 makes a really strong scene that underlines his determination, it is hard to believe that in that whole blasted-to-pieces office was nothing he could have used to at least try and clear a path in front of himself.
If you remember, that specific firefight was taking place in a datacentre. Generally, you do NOT want stuff you can trip on when lugging disk packs and magtapes around (I suppose it could have been the disaster recovery suite). The whole thing was on false floors..
Just watched the scene again. There were plenty of desks, chairs and other stuff in the room. But This Troper (same as above) now thinks the real issue was time. It wasn't visible on the screen, but he was looking over to a door with an exit sign and then at the glass on the floor while the bad guys were shooting at him. The next time we see him, his feet are cut up. So he most likely had no time to clear a path.
Also on the subject of the glass: when Hans gives the order to shoot the glass in German, the other terrorist doesn't understand him. Hans then has to repeat the order in English to be understood. Even though all the terrorists are German.
I got the impression that the guy just couldn't hear him. It's easier to give the order in english quietly so it couldn't be heard by McClane, than in German, maybe? Or maybe the guy's not German. It's not really clear that they're all German.
You are correct on not all the fake terrorist (mercenary / Bank Robbers) being German. At least two of them are Italian, Franco and Marco. This leaves the possibility of other nationalities as well, Uli and I believe James as well. On an interesting side note, in the German release, the German dialogue was converted to English and the German names were changed to English counterparts (i.e. Karl was changed to Charles). This was done because terrorism in then West Germany was too fresh in memory (i.e. Bader-Meinhoff).
Or maybe Karl is thinking 'Huh? Why would he want to do that?'
This troper has always that that the first film intended for Hans to only be pretending to be German, and the reason Karl couldn't understand him was because he didn't say it right.
That would have been a hilariousBilingual Bonus if he had been saying "Scheiss die Fenster" instead of "Schiess die Fenster". (apologies in advance for any grammatical or spelling errors introduced. Been a long time since I've seen the scene or studied German.)
As clarification: Schiessen means 'to shoot'. Scheiss means 'shit'
In Die Hard 4.0, the bad guys have hired a whole bunch of hackers to get their code in place, but to stop them talking have placed bombs in their computers that go off when they press a particular key (delete, I think) after delivering the code. Wouldn't it have been easier to use a remote detonator? It's not as if they were short of resources as they even had a hit squad in place to take out the target in case they avoided the bomb.
Most people aren't really smart enough, I don't think, to realize that computers don't just blow up. A squad of guys filing out of a van is more suspicious than a critical hardware failure.
True, but the point is the bad guys did set up the hackers' computers to explode but in a really stupid way - if you assume that the hackers aren't going to notice the bomb (which our hero didn't) why not have it set off remotely so you don't need to send in the SWAT team? And if you can't, for some reason (the receiver would have to be too big, or something) then at least have it activated by a key that he's much more likely to press (like the "Space Bar"). Team Evil's actions only served to point John McClane in the direction of the plot!
To answer why they didn't use space, it's because the bomb (or possibly something they programmed into the computer) caused the system to hang. What's the first thing they do when the computer hangs. Control alt delete.
Yes, we know how the bomb works, but the point is, making a bomb that requires the target to detonate it is a stupid thing to do when it's entirely possible to make one you can blow up whenever the hell you feel like it.
Even size doesn't excuse it. Considering that they were obviously able to get into the targets' homes, get to their computers, and plant the explosive without being noticed, they could just as easily have planted a remote bomb elsewhere in the home or room. Or even have placed a secondary bomb in case the first one failed for some reason (like it did here).
Well, the way I saw it, they pull up in the van, and they activate/upload some kind of "virus" which causes the computer to lock up. When the hackers hit the delete key to try and clear the bug for whatever reason, it detonates the block of C4. They try and focus it a little, to make sure they get the guy. If for whatever reason the C4 doesn't detonate, they call in the french guys to finish the job. It's a little convoluted, but then again, this is from the mind of a guy who initiated the world's largest ever cyberterrorism attack as a cover to stealing loads of money.
This seems to prove that they can not only plant explosives in the house but also send just about whatever transmission into the house while sitting outside. The reason this is [Fridge Logic] is that by making the bomb contingent on pressing a button on the keyboard it means that the hacker is near the computer when it explodes, which seems sensible. But that's negated if you have a guy in a van outside watching the house who can see the hacker and tell when he's near the bomb.
I always thought the explanation was disturbingly simple. Gabriel is an arrogant, sick, fuck who simply enjoys the thought that these other lesser nerds will actively end their own lives by failing to notice he is the uber-nerd and has rigged their own computers against them. The whole thing is as much about his salving his wounded ego as it about the money.
Blowing the computer served a secondary function. It ensured that if any of the hackers kept a record of what they'd done, it was destroyed, and that no one investigating the blast would find anything about the kids' doings.
Simple. Setting up the bomb to go off when you hit the delete key ensures that the hacker is in proximity to the bomb. Remote detonating it with your own gear runs the risk that the hacker might get up to take a piss or lean back or otherwise be in a position to not get exploded. But if he's leaning over his keyboard and hitting the delete key, he's right there up close to the bomb.
Yeah, but they've got a dude right there on the next roof watching anyway. It's not like they'd be remote detonating it at random, they seem to be pretty easily able to look into the rooms, so they oughta be able to tell when the guy's around.
The virus wasn't transmitted by the van. It was transmitted in the final transaction between Gabriel's people and the hackers. The van was just there to make sure it went off and observe.
Except that it was transmitted from the van. There was even a fancy pop-up that said "uploading virus."
In Die Harder: I know that security was decidely more lenient pre-9/11, but I'm still positive that they would not have let anybody bring an electric stun-gun on to a plane. In fact, from Die Hard, it would have been pretty hard for John to bring his gun on the plane, without having to check it, regardless of the fact that he is a cop (When a cop is off-duty, they're essentially a civilian).
Well, the taser belonged to an old lady, so security might have let it slide. After all it was indeed long before the 9/11. Remember, they didn't even lock the cabin door back then.
Also from Die Harder, are we really supposed to believe that the bad guys were able to set all this up in the few days' time they'd have known the airport was going to A) be the site where the general was going to be delivered, and B) get hit by a snowstorm? Even if they knew where the guy was being brought into the U.S. weeks beforehand, weather reports simply aren't reliable enough to allow enough forewarning to build an elaborate scheme that depended on the planes' having no visual contact with the ground. Had the weather not cooperated with the bad guys, they wouldn't have been able to crash a planeload of hostages, because the whole city would be lit up for the holiday.
Well, then they would have to use the plan B, wouldn't they?
It was stated in the film that they'd been planning everything for two months, which means they were preparing for Esperanza's eventual extradition. It wouldn't be hard for people with backgrounds in military intelligence to figure out where he would be taken, if they didn't know beforehand where the most likely airport was. No doubt they greased some palms to be sure of it, but that's never stated. As for the storm, well, they just got a little lucky and were able to make good on their threat by crashing a plane. I'm sure they had some other ideas in mind that didn't revolve around a blizzard.
In Die Harder: how do they reconcile the fact that John's wife's plane had 90 minutes of fuel left and was circling around DC...and thus had over a dozen alternate airfields that it would have automatically diverted to if it have no communication with the tower?
Just came in here to mention that. Did they ever say why the planes had to land THERE and not divert to any number of other airports like they do all the time (even, notably, in the event of terrorist attacks such as 9/11, where airliners were diverted to another country to land.)
Not clearly. I know fuel was a concern, but as this map shows, there were plenty of other options that were literally right next door, especially considering circling the runway pretty much meant they were flying directly overheard one of the other landing sites as they circled.
They said they'd lost all communication with the planes, so couldn't direct them to head to other airports.
IIRC the planes were in communication with the fake tower run by terrorists, who gave them instructions to keep circling the runway.
That sounds familiar, but if so it's Just Plane Wrong to the extreme. Pilots in distress aren't slaves to ATC and they would diverted if for no other reason than to avoid running out of fuel and crashing into D.C.
Possibly justified early on. A throwaway comment is made that Chiacgo International (I think) has had to shut down and send their planes across. It's not beyond the realms of possibility that the airport McClane was in was being kept open only as an emergency airport to land all the planes they could, it just also happened that the military jet with Esperanze on board was being sent there. Sure it's unlikely, but this page has already discussed about fiction and likely or unlikely things happening.
If only it wasn't for the fact that the planes are circling for at least two hours. A flight from Rhode Island to northern Virginia takes about three. Most of the east coast is within two hours flight of Washington, DC. And in the event of an emergency that downed civilian airfields there are still military airfields in the area which could take the planes until the storm passed.
After a re-watch, fairly early on in the siege the tower manages to get through and alert the planes that terrorists have shut down the lights. The fact that they didn't immediately divert of their own accord is pure Plot Hole.
I can't locate the reference for this on cracked.com,but here's something that has always bugged me: The crimes that all of the villains commit in the entire Die Hard series are so much worse than the crime that they are trying to cover up. Let see: Armed robbery moderate to length sentence. Terrorism: The death penalty...extrajudicial murder...Guantanamo. And why do the amounts they are trying to steal have to be so ridiculously large? The majority of people on Earth will never make more than a few million dollars in their entire lives. So I can believe people would do anything to get a million or two. $640 million dollars (Die Hard #1) was (and is) completely ludicrous.
Yes, but they're counting on not being caught. Remember what Hans said? "If you steal 600 million, they will find you, unless they think you're already dead."
And why shouldn't the money they're stealing be a huge amount? If you're going to risk the kind of things you just pointed out, there should be a significant payback. Also, keep in mind the 640 million was originally going to be split between like 20 guys.
I just did the math on it. There were 13 terrorists total (Hans, 11 gunmen including Karl, and Theo, the computer expert) so splitting $640 million between them would have netted each member of the group about $49.2 million. That would be about $89.5 million in 2011 dollars, more than enough money to live on for the rest of your life. Plus, Hans makes a quip at one point that the group will "be sitting on a beach, earning 20%." Not only are they getting a big payday, they'll be earning interest on it too! Yeah, well worth the "terrorist" label the media and police will pin on them.
A million dollars doesn't make you rich nowadays anymore. Retiring with a million dollar in the bank is possible, but you'd have to watch your spending for the rest of your life. Then, any number of CEOs demonstrate that once you DO have enough so that you can never ever realistically spend it, acquiring even more obscene amounts of money becomes an end in itself.
Yes, a million dollars still makes you rich.
A million dollars may be life-changing money, and may make you rich compared to most of humanity, but it doesn't make you rich by Los Angeles standards (where I live). You can't even buy a rich person's house for that much money, you'd need a lot more than that to live like a king for the rest of your life.
In Die Harder, John McClane pulls out a machine gun and starts to spray the police chief right in front of a bunch of other cops! And not one of them shoots him down! OK, they were blanks, but the other cops had no way of knowing that...
Shock, maybe? Remember, it also takes the police chief several seconds to realize that he's not getting shot.
Yet another from Die Harder: When Esperanza lands on the runway, John is trying to crawl out of the manhole that Esperanza's plane is about to run over. Me thinks even John McClane would decide that going back down and waiting for the plane to pass over you makes more sense!
Wasn't the grating pushing down on him making hard to get back down?
It would have been easier to squeeze out using leverage from your legs via the ladder than trying to go the other was with you hand pushing in the snow.
In "With A Vengeance" we get a big speech about how safe the binary liquid bombs are until they are mixed and they'll never explode. Which begs the question why none of the characters on finding a bomb that hasn't mixed yet doesn't simply rip out the mixing tubes (or in the case of the bomb in the school, take a fire axe to the tubes.) Remember, till they mix, there's nothing to explode.
Well, the one guy mentions something about the one in the school probably being booby-trapped, but that aside, yeah. You'd think someone would at least lampshade what seems to be a fairly obvious weakness in the bomb's design.
Even with booby traps, they should be able to drain the fluid from one of the tanks. I don't think there is a booby trap that triggers the bomb if someone drills a hole in one of the tanks. If they're worried about the decreased weight of the tank triggering the bomb, they could either replace the fluid with water or drain it really fast so there isn't enough liquid left for the bomb to explode.
And let's not forget that, if you cut the mixing tubes, it doesn't even matter if it's booby trapped or not. If the liquids don't mix, the bomb won't work.
Let's not forget that McClane and Zeus were specifically confronted with a puzzle bomb where they had to match an exact amount of liquid. So the bombers clearly know how to set a bomb triggered by fluid weight and the cops couldn't risk a similar device triggering the school bomb.
This is probably overthinking it, but it could theoretically be booby trapped to destroy or release the contents of all canisters if the device is messed with. Considering that the mixed substance is detonated by physical shock rather than ignition (or a mix of the two) it would still be pretty dangerous if mixed together outside of the bomb. (And say, all over the floor around your feet.)
Or, the bomb could simply be booby-trapped with a small amount of C4. It doesn't blow up the school, but it at least takes out the EOD tech, and usually one fatality is enough to make the person in charge at the scene say, "hold on, let's wait for someone to think of something else."
not to mention, if the "small amount of C4" goes off, the holding tanks would be breached. Back to the "all over the floor around your feet" theory.
Those Glock 7 guns in Die Hard 2. We all know guns without metal parts don't exist, but even if they did, wouldn't the bullets inside the gun trigger a metal detector.
Why would someone go out of their way to create a gun not detectable via metal detectors...to then use metal bullets/projectiles?
The same reason that there isn't a gun without metal parts in real life, it's the only effective material (assuming you want the person you're shooting at to actually die - plastic won't cut it)
Glock has never produced a gun called the Glock 7, nor have they made one of porcelain. The gun they're talking about (and holding) is the Glock 17, which is, by weight, 87.3% normal ordnance steel, and all the "plastic" parts (mainly the frame) are made of Polymer 2, which is radio opaque and therefore shows up on X-ray. They are also all embeded with steel to increase functionality and accuracy. Also, Glock is Austrian, not German. Armourer Mike Papac, whose company Cinema Weaponry supplied all the weapons used in the movie, fought that line, and lost.
As well he should, since "guns invisible to X-rays" have become a recurrent boogeyman of anti-gun groups based almost entirely off of the claims of a ceramic gun in Die Hard 2. And people complain about the effect 24 has had on the torture debate...
The airport SWAT team in the second movie got trashed by a bunch of guys with pistols and SMGs (not counting the cop Robert Patrick's character shot in the head). Either the terrorists were using FMJ rounds, or the SWAT guys didn't even have vests on.
Then they were using FMJs. There's no way they didn't expect to have to take on SWAT.
Exepct FMJs are just standard ball ammunition, full metal jacket. The normal ammunition used in all weapons. Short of possably high-pressure, specialy-designed rounds that most guns can't safely fire, no pistol-caliber round will penetrate a vest. Ever.
...If this were true than nobody in the military or police would ever die from a pistol shooting. Body armour fails all the time, and multiple impacts (from something like say, an automatic weapon) just increase the likelihood. Not to mention that shots to the leg or shoulder can easily be fatal depending on where the bullet goes after entering their body.
Essentially, don't take the name "bulletproof vests" so literally. Almost any product that claims to be anythingproof really means that it's just anythingresistant up to a certain point.
In the first movie, McClane jumps off the exploding roof, swings through a window, and then runs into the lobby, just in time for the elevator to explode. What on earth made the elevator explode?
Presumably the blast from the roof travelled down the liftshaft.
At the end of Die Harder, the planes use the fire trail from Stuart's exploded jet to land. Why couldn't they use the fire from the earlier crash?
Probably because that fire was a point source, while the second fire was a long line going down a sizable fraction of the runway.
It still does leave the question of why they couldn't set a fire, but still.
Because the terrorists are still watching the airport and even if you could warn the planes about the bogus ATC and tell them about the signal fire they could have brought shoulder launched SA Ms to take a few planes out.
In Die Harder why was Esperanza's plane going to Dulles? That's a civilian airport, on one of the busiest travel days of the year. It would be absolutely packed with people, any of ones outside the terminals proper being potentially armed. There's no way it could be secured, especially not on one day's notice like it was stated. It would have been more plausible if FM-1 was going to a nearby military airfield and Esperanza diverted the plane to Dulles after taking over the plane, rather than having the plane going directly there.
Was it even originally going to land there? I think it was simply that it was going to pass close to Dulles, and Esperanza broke out and took over the plane to land it there.
So is the young daughter who answers the phone in the original Die Hard the one from Live Free or Die Hard?
Not the same actress, but the same character. Why would you think any differently?
Years and years between viewings, and never in order. I actually think I only saw Die Hard 2 once.
Why does the plane explode in Die Harder? As evidenced with the Gimli Glider, a 747 is perfectly capable of landing without front landing gear, and in this case the worst case is damage to the landing gear and scratches ont he belly, but otherwise, it would not break up and explode. So, why does this one break up immediately on impact and explode?
Chalk that one up to magic movie fuel tank physics. It's the same reason why movie cars sometimes explode in a giant fireball just from hitting a tree or driving into a ditch. The plane going up in flames also shows that there are no survivors without having to make Mc Clane climb in and see all the bodies.
I think there might be another solution: me not being an expert on chemistry, but the pilot of Windsor Flight 114 says his plane is running on fumes. If I'm right, fumes are actually more flammable than regular liquid fuel. Plus, when the underbelly hits the ground, the plane is going much faster than it should be because Stuart has recalibrated the ground control system to change the altitude. So the underbelly hits the ground with enough speed to likely rupture the center wing fuel tank.
"Running on fumes" is an euphemism. It just means "we're low on fuel."
Except the tank won't rupture if the plane skids on its belly (again, as in the Gimli Glider, which couldn't lower its front landing gear, so the front crashed into the runway when it touched down) - it's just that heavily built, specifically to prevent the plane from breaking up. The Windsor 114 was still able to lower its landing gear, so its front wouldn't crash into the runway, which would have made the landing even smoother than the Gimli Glider.
To add to this, the bad guys adjust the ILS system to set ground level for 200' below actual ground level in order to cause the Windsor flight to crash. This is not possible because the ILS system uses antennas mounted on the ground around the runway which send out signals to the receiving plane. The system is based on how far and where the plane is relative to the antennas. The antennas would have to be physically moved in order to change where the ILS glide-slope would be. Even if they were put 200' below ground, the signals would not reach an airplane.
I put this in the Fridge Entry, but maybe it's more suitable here: In Die Hard, how are Hans & co planning to exchange all the 100 000 $ papers without poeple noticing? Let alone one?
Check the Fridge Entry, just answered this for you on there.