Die Hard Plot Synopsis
Police officer John McClane travels from New York to Los Angeles to resolve his issues with his estranged wife, Holly. But his simple trip turns into a dangerous rescue mission when a group of terrorists take his wife and several others hostage during a Christmas party. John must use every skill in his book to save his wife and, by extension, Christmas.
When does John come to Los Angeles?
John lands in Los Angeles on Christmas Eve. His wife, Holly, is at a party held by her employer, the Nakatomi Corporation, at the still-unfinished high-rise Nakatomi Plaza. Argyle, a limousine driver, takes John to an office building and offers to wait for him until he figures out where to live.
John discovers that Holly uses Gennaro as her maiden name. After John meets her, they argue about her using it. Meanwhile, a group of armed terrorists led by Hans Gruber take over the tower and hold the guests hostage. However, John manages to slip into the maintenance areas of the building.
What is Gruber’s goal?
Takagi learns that Gruber’s goal is to steal $640 million worth of bonds stored in the building’s lockers. Gruber executes Takagi when he refuses to reveal the combination to unlock the vault. The head terrorist instructs one of his men, Theo, to break into the vault.
Aware of John’s presence in the tower, Gruber sends Tony to find him. John, however, kills Tony and takes his gun and radio. He then contacts the LAPD, who sends Sergeant Al Powell to investigate. Finding no sign of concern, Powell prepares to leave.
But John manages to stop him by throwing the body of one of the terrorists into his car. Gruber calls SWAT for backup. As the SWAT team tries to break into the building, they are attacked by terrorists. John drops a C-4 explosive – killing a bunch of terrorists and stopping the attack.
Does Gruber shoot John?
Gruber kills Holly’s colleague after unsuccessfully trying to negotiate with John on her behalf. In one instance, Gruber poses as an escaped hostage to let his guard down to trick John. The plan works and John gives Gruber a gun. Gruber fires the gun, but finds it discharged. John escapes, but loses the detonators he collected from the terrorists he killed.
What actions does the FBI take?
The agents shut off the power, which disables the electromagnetic locks in the building’s vaults – giving Gruber access to the gardens. The FBI helicopter promises to arrange as Gruber requested.
John, however, realizes that Gruber wants to do more damage than steal. He sees Gruber setting up the helipad on the roof with detonators and plans to kill everyone.
How does John save the hostages?
Gruber’s men force the hostages onto the roof of the building. As John tries to get everyone inside safely, the FBI opens fire on him, mistaking him for one of the terrorists. John escapes again using a fire hose as a lifeline.
Gruber learns from a news report that John is Holly’s husband. He keeps Holly with him, using him as a shield against any of John’s attacks.
John surrenders, sticking his gun to his back until his last two bullets. John pulls out his gun as the rival Gruber falls to the ground – killing his last assistant and shooting him in the chest. Gruber falls from the building’s window, but grabs Holly’s wristwatch. His weight also drags him through the window. John opens his watch just in time, causing Gruber’s death. The couple shares an intense smooch.
As they prepare to leave, Carl, one of the terrorists posing as a wounded hostage, tries to ambush John and Holly with an assault rifle. However, Powell beats him. The pair take off in Argyle’s limo and save both the hostages and Christmas.