"Another basement, another elevator...how can the same thing happen to the same guy twice?" asks John McClane (Bruce Willis), in what is doubtless the key question of this film. A year after foiling the terrorist takeover of a high-rise office building in the first movie, McClane is waiting to pick up his wife, Holly (Bonnie Bedelia), at Dulles International Airport just outside Washington, D.C., on Christmas Eve. Scheduled to arrive the same evening is Ramon Esperanza (Franco Nero), a South American political figure who is being brought to the United States to stand trial for his role in a drug-smuggling ring. However, a group of terrorists, led by renegade American military officer Col. Stuart (William Sadler), take control of the airport, scuttling radio transmissions and placing their own men in the control tower. Stuart and his men ensure that Esperanza's plane lands safely, and then demand that Stuart and his men be given a fully-fueled 747 and free passage wherever they choose to go. Otherwise, they will guide the many circling jets waiting for landing instructions into definite crash landings, killing the many passengers on board. Not willing to stand aside as terrorists once again threaten his wife's life, the wise-cracking McClane once again leaps into action to foil Stuart's plans and bring the passenger jets safely to the ground. William Atherton, John Amos, Dennis Franz, and John Leguizamo highlight the supporting cast.