In November 1984, the Soviet Union's best submarine Captain in their newest sub violates orders and heads for the U.S. Is he trying to defect or to start a war?
Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has a code of honor which he will not violate, even when his life depends on it. Paradoxically, his code of honor gives him the backbone to survive as a military special forces operative when he is sent on a covert mission to rescue another group which was sent in to assist some nefarious U.S. government plan in a Latin American country.
It's Christmas time in L.A., and there's an employee party in progress on the 30th floor of the Nakatomi Corporation building. The revelry comes to a violent end when the partygoers are taken hostage by a group of terrorists headed by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), who plan to steal the 600 million dollars locked in Nakatomi's high-tech safe.