Directors : Antoine Fuqua
Starring : Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Finley Jacobsen, Dylan McDermott, Rick Yune, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell
Running Time : 120 minutes
Release Date : In Cinemas Now
18 months ago, a tragedy befell America‘s First Family and the President’s (Eckhart) former Secret Service bodyguard Mike Banning (Butler) has been relegated to a desk job in the Treasury, far, far, away from the White House. I feel I must question why Butler’s character has been described as a disgraced former bodyguard. He isn’t disgraced in the slightest, that is made clear in the movie…… and if he was disgraced, he wouldn’t be able to easily access codes ‘n’ stuff like he does through the movie. But I digress….
The White House is taken by terrorists and ironically enough for its release timing, the enemy is Korea not some Middle Eastern country. The White House is taken from the inside, on many levels, so efforts to evacuate personnel and move the President to a secure bunker within the building play right into the terrorist’s hands. And this takeover is brutal.
A large bomber type enemy plane (clearly I am not an aeroplane expert) flies into secure United States airspace and 2 fighter jets politely ask the plane to divert of suffer the consequences. The bomber blasts them out of the sky and continues towards its ultimate destination where it guns down sniper type guards stationed across the White House grounds and rooftops. The Koreans also gun down what surely must be staff or tourists in and around the White House lawns. Like I said, brutal and uncompromising.
The plane then glides through the Washington obelisk, clipping its wing and ultimately crashing to the ground on it’s suicide mission in what can only be described as September 11 type imagery. The remaining sequences of the terrorist attack are planned to destructive perfection. Very Sun Tzu ‘ Art of War ‘ in its details, precision and single-mindedness. Wave after wave of attack strikes, with the Americans one step behind every time. Once the Koreans have taken full and complete control of the White House, the code ‘Olympus Has Fallen‘ being transmitted through to an understandably stunned US government strategy room, their leader Kang (Yune) comments with unabashed pride to the now captive President of the United States that ‘ it took your military 15 minutes to arrive….. we took the White House in 13 1/2 minutes’.
By this stage, Banning is the only person inside the building with any hope of saving the President. The Koreans are nothing if not organised to exquisite detail. I know they are the bad guys but you cannot help but admire how clever and prepared they are in this attack. The Koreans use the American’s well-ordered military responses against them. The element if surprise is their main weapon and they use it to devastating effect.
The Koreans want the US out of the Korean peninsula. End of story. As the United States does not negotiate with terrorists, the Koreans plan to use the one weapon they know will secure them victory….. the President’s young son Connor (Jacobsen) who is somewhere in the White House. The hunt for him starts…..who will get to him first?
This movie is very Die Hard ……. I do believe it has actually been marketed as a Die Hard genre movie to some ……. but without all that American swaggering that can ummmm prove a tad irksome to some non Americans audiences *coughs* This movie had guts and it had balls. There I said it. It was unrelenting in it’s brutality and the bad guys did appear to have an answer for anything the US could throw at it. Always one step ahead.
Okay, so once the Speak of the House Trumbull (Freeman) took over by default, we kinda knew things would be okay. Freeman is the ‘other ‘ US President, he is God, he is the man we all secretly hope really and truly does take control if the proverbial s%@# hits the fan in real life. Come on….. you know you do 😉
This is a great movie. I loved it. It had lots of action, it had a clever, fast paced script, fantastic acting and enough heart to make you feel for the underdogs and want them to win. Of course, we always want good to triumph over evil and this was no different. So what if only one man appears to be able to bring down this well oiled machination of evil. Die Hard and Rambo were both really successful franchises in their day (in their day…….and that day is over……yes hello Die Hard 5 I AM looking at you!!)
This movie is never going to be nominated for any major awards, except maybe an MTV Award for Best Movie Fight Scene or whatever the kids think is cool these days. But this movie doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is….. an action movie with a great script, a great cast and a great premise. It is a solid tale and well worth the almost 2 hour running time and the $15 ticket.
And remember………Shift 3 fixes everything 🙂
Love Flick xx