1. So the plot involves a drug dealing Central American general/gangster/whatever being extradited to the United States, and a terrorist group's plan to rescue him as he arrives at Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia (Washington, DC suburbs.) Ok- I've seen this film at least a dozen times (I managed a video rental store in DC when it was released on VHS and it was a popular title to show on the store's tv) and I still don't really understand how the bad guys could be so stupid in so many ways. First, their plan involves seizing control of one of the largest airports in the United States, which in turn involves hiring dozens and dozens of mercenaries who are embedded into American SWAT teams- what kind of long con is this? Second, the plan is "successful" when they get the general on board a plane and take off from Dulles- but why do they think they are safe at this point? Why don't they think they'll be forced down by a military jet as soon as they are over open water? Can someone explain this to me?
2. The plan gets messed up right away when John McClane asks for I.D. and gets shot at instead. So if these brilliant terrorist masterminds had just remembered to fake a few airport I.D.'s, the plan would have worked to perfection....so they never imagined that at any point anyone would ask to see I.D's, or figured if anyone did, they'd just open fire....what the hell.....
3. A major plot point is that a dozen or so jumbo jets are circling Dulles throughout the entire film, unable to land because of weather conditions and Other Reasons. These jets are running out of fuel as they circle, and ultimately come in - we are told by one pilot- "on fumes." But why do they spend hours circling Dulles when there are a dozen airports in the vicinity perfectly capable of accommodating jets of that size; locally there's Reagan National and BWI, but let's assume the blizzard is also impacting those airports. Just up the coast there's Philly JFK and LaGuardia and Newark and Logan. Off to the west there's Pittsburgh. To the south there's Charlotte. Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago are all closer than the "hours" the planes are pointlessly circling Dulles as they run out of fuel. There's even Andrews,* which is big enough to handle Air Force 1 so is certainly capable of handling any passenger jet. I mean, this is really dumb- the movie wants us to pretend that if the planes can't land at Dulles, they are going to crash.
I actually liked this movie better than the first Die Hard film- and it's the last of the Die Hard films I liked at all. But man it asks the audience to suspend a lot of disbelief, especially if you live in the DC area like I did.
*speaking of which, why is a general/gangster/drug mastermind entering the United States at a freaking civilian airport in the first place?