LAPD detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) is waiting at Washington Dulles International Airport for his wife when he suspects two individuals with a package are planning an attack. Colonel Stuart (William Sadler) has set-up a base in a church to gain control of the airport in order to rescue General Ramon Esperanza (Franco Nero), a drug lord and the dictator.
Waiting for his wife at Dulles International Airport, John McClane is once again in the right place at the wrong time. A group of terrorists are plotting to release a drug kingpin and hold the entire airport hostage, including all the planes in the air. If they had known one of the planes held McClane's wife Holly, they would have waited.