Die Hard terrorists have utilized increasingly ambitious canvases with each film, from a single high rise in the first to Dulles Airport in the second, New York City in the third and the entire country in the fourth. We're focusing on Stuart because, while not the most ambitious, his plan is certainly the most convoluted. And because the fourth was basically about a wizard who casts spells in computer jibberish, so he doesn't count.
Stuart on the other hand plans to take an entire airport hostage through good old-fashioned clockwork precision. He and his crew walk around Dulles in lock-step with each other, passing guns back and forth in gift wrapped boxes, and constantly checking their synchronized watches. Unfortunately, these aren't great strategies for blending into a crowd, and John McClane's extensive background in Christmas terror plot reconnaissance tells him something's up.
Stuart then overrides all communication between the air traffic control tower and the planes (he probably had an early version of the iPhone) and turns the lights out on the runway by having one of his men chop through a bunch of cords with an ax. If you think these actions are carried out with precision that is anything other than clock-like, you either don't know shit about clocks or Stuart. Or similes.
Now he has the whole country by the balls. With no lights on the runways, Stuart's able to lie to the pilots about their altitude and crash some motherfucking planes! It's truly a diabolical, air-tight plan.
... that only works if there's a blizzard. If it's a clear night the pilots are probably going to see one of the other million lights on the ground that he didn't turn off like the terminal and the air traffic control tower and the parking lot.
But you can't blame Stuart for gambling his entire plan on the one-in-a-million chance that there's a blizzard in Virginia on the day it goes down. He was probably busy with all the other details, like keeping the blank machine gun clips separate from the live rounds so that none of the guys who are working for him shoot each other. You know, during the elaborate fake machine gun battle on snowmobiles. The one that is supposed to throw McClane off their scent. You know, McClane, the guy the trailer specifically says nobody was counting on.
"Man, this plan would have sucked if it had been 20 degrees warmer."
Why It Failed:
It actually went pretty well. Stuart is able to take over the airport, the Pentagon conveniently sends the special ops team headed up by his mentor, a freak blizzard hits the confederate state where his operation is taking place. Also, only one good guy realizes that a huge bonfire on the runway gives the pilots a landing light bright enough to shine through the blizzard, effectively taking away Stuarts only bargaining chip. And that good guy doesn't realize it until the end of the movie.
Of course by that point, Stuart's watched his mentor get shit out the back of a jet engine and is himself used as kindling for the landing light. But, y'know. A for effort.
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